Starship Troopers

Not rated yet!
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Runtime
2 h 09 min
Release Date
7 November 1997
Genres
Adventure, Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Overview
Set in the future, the story follows a young soldier named Johnny Rico and his exploits in the Mobile Infantry. Rico's military career progresses from recruit to non-commissioned officer and finally to officer against the backdrop of an interstellar war between mankind and an arachnoid species known as "the Bugs".
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  • Attack of the Bugmen! Heinlein & Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers

    [1]2,269 words

    Robert Heinlein’s novel Starship Troopers is a genre-defining classic of science fiction. First published in 1959, Heinlein’s work is audacious in propounding aristocratic militarism, will-to-power, social inequality, and contempt for liberal and mercantile values. Starship Troopers describes the path of a young man, Johnny Rico, from uncertain recruit to achieving the rank of Field Officer in an interstellar war against the “Bugs,” a species of giant arachnids. Most readers will be familiar with the themes and popularity of Starship Troopers, if not due to the original book then because of Paul Verhoeven’s movie adaptation, which, like the film Fight Club, has eclipsed its source material in the mainstream consciousness.

    Both the book and its movie counterpart have found enduring popularity as a coming-of-age fable of guts, grit, determination, wits, and the making of a young man. The film is obviously in line with Heinlein’s original intent, but what is less well-known is how explicit the book is in its rejection of American egalitarianism and its celebration of a sort of moral nihilism. Starship Troopers is so brazenly militaristic that it has become a Right-wing pop-cultural reference point, from the time of its original publication to the present-day memes based on the film. It is an enduring work, and its archetypes, heroes, and uncompromising ethos have the highest relevance to us today, since, like Rico, we find ourselves deep in an existential conflict with an alien civilization.

    [2]

    The Troopers novel begins with Rico recounting how he “always gets the shakes” before a capsule drop – being launched from planetary orbit to the surface in a fragile capsule in order to wreak extraordinary havoc on the victims below. Rico and his fellow Mobile Infantrymen are characterized from the outset as having human frailty, in contrast to the astonishing savagery of their weaponry and powered armor, and yet they are the toughest men nonetheless. A regular Mobile Infantryman carries city-flattening ordnance, tactical hydrogen bombs, flamethrowers, and other sundry nastiness, and can jump-jet over buildings with ease. But Heinlein’s emphasis is not on the technological framework around the man but on the men themselves, specifically men at war. Troopers centers on the comradery, tensions, and give-and-take between troops, as well as the lived experience of military training and the soldiers’ flaws and ambitions, as well as their relation to the military as an institution.

    The staggering cost and power of their armor and weaponry is in sharp contrast to their human condition, and it is this examination and celebration of martial valor writ large that is at the heart of Troopers. The book’s dedication is to “all Sergeants anywhen who have labored to make men out of boys,” and Heinlein’s implication is that to make a man, some measure of the morality he advocates is indispensable: some measure of impersonal discipline, physical hardship, and understanding of human society as inescapably subject to human selfishness and natural law. It is on this bedrock (“Man has no moral instinct. We acquire moral instinct through training, experience and hard sweat of the mind”)[1] [3] that Heinlein attempts to “cultivate the conscience” of his reader towards a martial mindset, even an explicitly ethnocentric one: “Any breed which stops its own increase gets crowded out by breeds which expand. Some human populations did so, in Terran history, and other breeds moved in and engulfed them.”[2] [4]

    Paul Verhoeven has to be credited with making at least an enjoyable film, despite considering Troopers to be “an idiotic story.” But Heinlein is deadly serious. After the action-packed opening chapter, Rico doesn’t emerge from training until the second half of the book, around which time the Bugs are introduced – as a distant threat, not directly – and a substantial chunk of the second half is dedicated to Rico’s officer training: its ethics, traditions, and methods of drilling bright, combat-tested men into being able to command combat troops. Heinlein states throughout the novel that violence is the essence from which all political authority derives, and Starship Troopers is primarily Heinlein speaking through his character’s mentors about the utility of force, its relation to sovereignty, and its proper application.

    Of course, all of this nuance and complex argumentation for military aristocracy flies completely over the Verhoeven’s head, as a director whose comprehension of Starship Troopers is about as subtle as an Antifa brick thrown through a Trump supporter’s window. In his own words, he “decided to make a movie about fascists who aren’t aware of their fascism,”[3] [5] and makes sure that we know that the filmmakers’ “philosophy was really different [from Heinlein’s book],we wanted to do a double story, a really wonderful adventure story about these young boys and girls fighting, but we also wanted to show that these people are really, in their heart, without knowing it, are on their way to fascism.”[4] [6] The cartoon worldview of the liberal is pathetically flimsy, always looking backwards to the Nazis’ defeat with an evangelical reverence; but Right-wingers, keen on anthropology that hews to Nature’s timeless truths, are always looking to a brighter future. Verhoeven, in borrowing from Triumph of the Will and intentionally characterizing the Starship Troopers’ characters as Nazis, has done us all a great service by doing the right thing for the wrong reasons: Heinlein’s Mobile Infantry are portrayed as heroic and aspirational in service to fascist ideals, and not in spite of them. Of course, the Trumpian American public didn’t appreciate the joke that their fondness for patriotic and ambitious young men was “like Nazism.”

    Nonetheless, for those who don’t mind a little retro-fash (portraying someone as a Nazi is really the only way Hollywood can ever portray any kind of unapologetic Rightism), the Starship Troopers film is a gripping and boisterous experience. The bugs are vicious, the acid is flesh-eatingly acidic, and all the major plot points of the novel are struck beat-by-beat by Verhoeven with a faithfulness that could only spring from an intense and fruitful hatred. There’s even creative takes that don’t appear in the novel, such as one clownish, indignant TV personality who challenges an exasperated official, claiming that he finds “the idea of a bug that thinks offensive [7].” (Golly, isn’t that their answer for everything?) And, of course, there are the tongue-in-cheek propaganda reels.

    More seriously, Heinlein’s long expositions on naked force are condensed into intimidating lectures from Rico’s Professor of History and Moral Philosophy, played impeccably by a steely and weathered Michael Ironside, who later returns to the front to fight the Bugs alongside Johnny.[5] [8] He executes a wounded soldier in a mercy killing, something that no doubt caused liberal audiences to cringe squeamishly (why didn’t he just let him get torn apart?!) and red-blooded American men to clench their fists in approval. Rico himself is played by the young Casper Van Dien, who in Verhoeven’s words is “the prototype of blond, white, and arrogant.” But Van Diem’s Johnny Rico is impossible not to like – he is endearingly sincere and brimming with bravado, and just so gosh-darned handsome to boot, so that the “satire” of Verhoeven’s Space Reich comes across more as a loving pastiche.

    [9]

    “Remember your training, and you will come back alive!”

    One of the film’s emotional peaks is in the Klendathu Drop scene, as the Troopers come under heavy fire while they dropship down to the planet’s surface. Basil Poledouris’ score is excellent, and anyone who doesn’t feel for the young men and women launching off to almost certain death just doesn’t have a heart. For comparison, one feels nothing towards the drop troopers (or shapeless aliens) of the Tom Cruise vehicle The Edge of Tomorrow, a deeply empty film that reveals how (perhaps unintentionally) sympathetic Starship Troopers is to its core subject matter of men and women at war. B-movie or not, it’s immensely refreshing to see fashy whites taking center stage without disparagement beyond the forgettably superficial (such as Neil Patrick Harris’ SS uniform, and the Nazi flags scattered around).

    Verhoeven’s criticism is shallow and trite (as are his quips about how Trump’s election reflected the 1930s), whilst Heinlein’s insight into the character and motivations of men goes to the core. Verhoeven’s success is in accurately adapting Troopers and popularizing it by keeping it faithful to the overt militarism of the source material, and perhaps saving Heinlein’s name and novel from languishing in obscurity, beyond the ken of pop culture. He could have simply jettisoned the whole lot into the cold vacuum of space and made a boring space movie, but his liberal sensibilities were too strong.

    The strongest irony is that Verhoeven feels the story is “idiotic” because he himself is a Bugman. Verhoeven has been successful because the many want to see the healthy and sensible ideals of the Right espoused clearly, and Verhoeven (hilariously) is enough of a liberal Bugman that he thinks that when these ideals are clearly presented, people will see them as self-evidently wrong. Although he strove to make a movie about young men “unaware” of the “fascism” of their ideals, the Troopers are all too aware that to abandon those ideals would mean being swamped and devoured by marauding insects – assimilated into a system of NPCs such as Verhoeven, whose greatest achievements are parodying what they despise.

    Nonetheless, Verhoeven’s quip is half-right. A story about a young man going to war to fight giant bugs sounds pretty idiotic on the face of it. It begs the question of why Heinlein, an incredibly serious writer, chose such a setting given that Heinlein’s novel is taken up (almost entirely!) by Rico’s experiences of military training and tuition – almost like Starship Troopers is a manual for martial masculinity framed in an apocalyptic conflict against the forces of entropy . . . to fight the Bugmen, of course! Heinlein’s master metaphor is to get at the deficiency of insects and what makes a man: the absence of an interior drive for self-respect, the ambition to be singular and participate in a great endeavor, and the sensibility and will towards general accomplishment and building oneself up. When Heinlein does touch upon it explicitly, it is with the finesse of a power-armored surgical strike: Rico has been reunited with his father (briefly), who has enlisted to fight the Bugs, after he had condemned Rico’s ambitions at the start of the novel as young foolishness. In a sort of strained confession, he tells his son, “I had to perform an act of faith. I had to prove to myself that I was a man. Not just a producing-consuming economic animal . . . but a man.”[6] [10]

    Even though Heinlein posits a democracy “unlimited by race, color, creed, birth, wealth, sex, or conviction,”[7] [11] he harkens back to a war against the “Chinese Hegemony,” which he likens unfavorably to the Bugs, a “total communism” where “Bug commissars didn’t care any more about expending soldiers than we cared about expending ammo.”[8] [12] But where Communism – in its hard-edged, Soviet, and Maoist varieties – was the threat of Heinlein’s day, the Bugman has returned to us as a product of what Leftists love to deride as “late-stage capitalism”: a man who is not a man, but merely male; a human possessing biological traits, yet dispossessed of his ancestors and gods. Every Mobile Infantryman “is a free man, all that drives him comes from inside,”[9] [13] but most of a Bugman’s needs are impressed upon him by external forces: the need to feel safe from the phantom of “fascism,” and the need for the latest fashionable product that has been programmed to go into vogue (Apple fans in particular are beyond parody in their attachment to a sociopathic corporation). His deepest need, however, is born of the painful and submerged resentment he feels when standing next to a proper man – the desire to flatten any and all hierarchy based on fighting spirit. “You can’t buy fighting spirit.”[10] [14]

    The Bugman’s tendency is toward a levelling of society to egalitarian interchangeability, a constant demolition of rank and grade to an “antlike Communism.” Men aspire to militarism and aristocracy, since the sexual dimorphism of men and women means that to be good at being a man means to be good at distributing naked force. Men by their nature have to settle their differences, slug it out, and establish an order of strength and specialization in order to work together as brothers-in-arms. Men look down on deliberately unmanly men as either a burden or liability. The Bugman, by contrast, has no problem with gender-bending or even attacking sexual dimorphism itself, as sexuality and being (to him) is purely superficial and material, and has no spiritual essence or public relevance. He does not include society in his mental remit. He is the ultimate individualist, the total “private individual.”

    Once he is materially comfortable, all his pleasures and pains are private. To participate in public celebration would be to be part of an in-group: one that might demand loyalty and uncomfortable trials. Hence, the cities of the Bugman represent termite hills – vast numbers of individuals in small spaces for economic viability, all of them acting autonomously, according to their own needs. They are unable to coordinate on a larger enterprise; the idea would not even occur to them. The Bugman has nothing in common with other Bugmen except the agreement that they need not share anything in common. The Bugman’s ultimate pleasure is that which is fully engaging and immersive, and yet asks nothing of him except his time: the videogame or the cartoon novelty, which offers achievements of no significance outside its own distraction.

    Of course, lacking in humanity in all but the biological sense, the Bugman has no problem with mass extermination and total war to expand the hive against any and all who would challenge the supremacy of the Bug system. The Bug War may be fought by armed men, but it is in service to the Brain Bugs, the slug-like, office-block dwelling mollusks of international finance and social gimmickry. The language of “human rights” describes only a system of protocols to reduce man, the spiritual and physical architect of civilization, to the Bug status of hive functionary, consumer, and (soon to be replaced) reproductive unit.

    By the end of the Starship Troopers film, things are not going well for the human race. Children are being conscripted to fight, which is a source of great amusement to Bugmen, who delight in the desperation of the hated “fascists.” It is only tragic to the Bugs that those children didn’t grow up to be hive-minders performing some trivial task or the other; Bugs having no problem with stripping children of any and all sexual innocence (innocence? what is that?). In the eyes of the Bugs, children are merely small adults, and adults merely denatured worker units.

    It is against this menace that we are fighting. The Bugmen have already given up on life. They have decided to content themselves with their own little pleasures. But the rest of us can see all too clearly the alien and existentially threatening Brain Bugs, who are relentless in their plan to assimilate us into a greater Afro-Eurasian hive. No society has ever suffered such a grievous blow as ours. As a result, our race has not merely lost its appetite for life, but has become profoundly alienated from man the ideal, masculinity as essence, and martial valor as that which is indispensable. Thankfully, we can turn to Johnny Rico and his Mobile Infantry – and, like them, we’ll keep fighting, and we’ll win!

    Notes

    [1] [15] Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers (New York: Ace, 2010), p. 149.

    [2] [16]Starship Troopers, p. 237.

    [3] [17] Paul Verhoeven “How We Made Starship Troopers [18],” The Guardian, January 22, 2018.

    [4] [19] Chris O’Falt, “Paul Verhoeven Slams ‘Starship Troopers’ Remake, Says It’ll Be a Fascist Update Perfect for a Trump Presidency [20],” IndieWire, November 16, 2016.

    [5] [21] The novel’s characterization of Rico’s father (who enlists in the Mobile Infantry after his wife’s death in the bombing of Buenos Aires), Lieutenant Raszcnak, and Johnny’s History and Moral Philosophy teacher, retired Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Paul Dubois, are all amalgamated into this one character for cinematic brevity.

    [6] [22]Starship Troopers, p. 219.

    [7] [23]Starship Troopers, p. 235.

    [8] [24]Starship Troopers, p. 194.

    [9] [25]Starship Troopers, p. 265.

    [10] [26]Starship Troopers, p. 265.

    Source: https://buttercupdew.tumblr.com/post/179177098763/attack-of-the-bugmen-heinlein-and-verhoevens [27]

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Guide to Kulchur Episode 4: Starship Troopers

    [1]87 words / 1:31:40

    Counter-Currents contributor Guillaume Durocher joins Fróði Midjord on the latest episode of the new podcast series, Guide to Kulchur [2], to discuss Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 film Starship Troopers, which is based on a novel by renowned science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein and portrays a fascist future society embroiled in a war of extermination against a civilization of intelligent bugs. Both the book and the film reveal political insights that are not often seen in today’s popular culture. The episode is available on both YouTube and Spreaker (see below).

    Listen to “Guide to Kulchur (guest: Guillaume Durocher) – episode 4, Starship Troopers” on Spreaker. [3]

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Starship Troopers
    2,086 words Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (1959) marked his transition from writing juvenile pulp science fiction to serious novels of ideas, in this case setting forth a highly reactionary and militarist political philosophy. Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 film of Starship Troopers takes quite a few liberties with Heinlein’s plot but manages to capture its spirit […]
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Red Dawn (2012)
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]3,249 words

    The remake [2] of Red Dawn also reflects its times, in its own way. It is a perfect action movie for the age of Obama. Pointless, loud, confusing, and filled with politically correct pseudo-patriotism, it’s a disposable trinket that bored drunks will be picking up from the Redbox outside the 7-11 in a few months. Chris Hemsworth of Thorfame plays Jed Eckert, but he’s probably thanking the Aesir that this film was delayed until after his career was secured.

    While the characters have the same names, the overall backgrounds have dramatically changed. Jed Eckert is not the former high school quarterback from small town USA, but a tattooed United States Marine. In fact, he’s not just a Marine, but a combat veteran of the Iraq War who (it’s implied) has both killed and seen comrades die. He’s even still on active duty, simply stopping home while on leave. Rather than reluctantly taking up arms or even doing his patriotic duty, it could be argued that neo-Jed is simply doing his job. Instead of reacting with stunned disbelief or fear when paratroopers come sailing into the town, Jed reacts with instincts honed by training and combat.

    Josh Peck’s Matt Eckert is no longer his brother’s faithful second, but a brooding wannabe rebel who is filled with adolescent longing for his girlfriend Erica (Isabel Lucas [3]). He resents his brother for joining the Marine Corps and going off to war rather than staying at home to help the family after their mother died. This actually creates a sense of tension between the two brothers that the original mostly lacked.

    The first Red Dawn set the tone with a history professor ruminating on the brutality of Genghis Khan to a quiet classroom. The remake gives us a high school football game out of Varsity Blues. Instead of a mediation on war, identity, and death, we’re going to root for the home team. Go Wolverines!

    While the opening invasion scene is superior technically to the original, it has been almost 30 years, and it’s supposed to be. Still, there’s something lost – instead of a sense of ominous dread followed by sudden horror, here we have explosions and silly car chases right off the bat. Jed rescues a number of people from the town (most of whom are rather disposable). After encountering his father (here, the sheriff) he takes them to his family’s second home in the woods while his father does the best he can back in the town. As Jed drives away, we see the townspeople running helplessly to the local authority figure for help. Once they arrive to safety, Jed quickly establishes himself as the alpha of the group after putting down an absurd challenge from an effeminate kid named “Pete,” as if anyone is going to argue with the older Marine in a war situation and who owns the house besides. Among those rescued is the new version of Daryl Jenkins (played by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s adopted nonwhite son Connor [4]). In the age of Obama, the mayor is black.

    Soon enough, Pete abandons the group and steals food and supplies. He’s apparently captured and leads enemy forces to the cabin. The group hides in the woods as an enemy soldier puts a gun to the head of the mayor, who tells the group to surrender through a megaphone. Then Jed and Matt’s father takes the megaphone and essentially orders them to fight and slaughter the invaders, screaming “kill this piece of shit.” He’s predictably shot and killed. Jed resolves to follow his father’s command, and begins training the group into a force that can take the fight to the enemy. The battle begins, and the enemy doesn’t know what hit them.

    While the overall pattern is true to the beginning of the film, we already see a drastic departure that changes the whole ideological thrust of the movie. Jed isn’t a reluctant guerrilla trained in the ways of the woods – he’s a professional soldier (no offense to any Marines objecting to being called “soldiers”). Rather than the spirited amateurs of the original (who ask questions like, “What’s a flank? [5]”), Jed creates a little platoon of mini-Marines by running the group through a quick version of Infantry School. Papa Eckert isn’t a paranoid survivalist trapped in a concentration camp – he’s a lawman, also trying to do his job. This isn’t a folk uprising against occupiers – government employees are the heroes. We’re not in rural Colorado – we’re in Spokane, Washington. No sons of the soil here – only kids who have fired guns on their Xbox. As one Wolverine puts it, “Dude, we’re living Call of Duty – and it sucks!”

    And who are they fighting? At this point, most people know that the film was originally supposed to feature a Chinese invasion of the United States, perhaps with Russian help. Incredibly, even after the movie was finished, someone (not the Chinese) decided that the Chinese would be offended by this film and changed it so that the enemy is North Korea [6]. Of course, as even this movie has to acknowledge the absurdity of North Korea invading the United States (or invading South Korea for that matter, or giving its people 2,000 calories a day, for that matter), the Communists have help. As we all know, it’s going to be an enemy that no one cares about offending. South Africa has long since vanished so let’s all say it together: the hand behind the curtain belongs to “Russian Ultra-Nationalists.” Rather than even the clumsy humanizing of the first film, the North Koreans and Russians are completely faceless and without personality. They exist to be mowed down.

    The sad part is that somewhere in this mess is a film that could have been timely. The marketing [7] for the film used faux propaganda posters [8] from the Chinese occupation with messages like “Repairing Your Economy” and “Defeating Your Enemy” with a hand smashing the Capitol. In a time of economic stagnation, spiritual malaise, and popular anger against the government, the film could have addressed questions of national decline and the fraying bonds between people and government. The occupiers use anti-Wall Street rhetoric to try to win support and there’s a huge opening for something to be said about how the nation is distinct from the banks and the corporations. All of this is simply dropped on the ground, background for the video game we are watching.

    The film does suggest a link between the invading North Koreans and the occupying American legions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Jed, a veteran of those occupations, notes that when he was in Iraq, they tried to bring order and essential services to the people. Here, they will be the “bad guys” and create “chaos.” The North Koreans hold a rally and claim they can restore essential services only after the people help them to stop the violence. The Wolverines bomb it. The character Pete from the beginning goes so far as to become a uniformed collaborator and is killed for it. Jed accepts it, commenting that collaborators were inevitable. Still, it seems like the movie held back its punch, never quite drawing the parallel. While Jed comments that to the North Koreans, Spokane is “just a place,” there’s not a sense of the righteous rage that drove the original Wolverines. After all, this seems like a state vs. state conflict, and we’re just pulling for the home team.

    Conflict within the group erupts when Matt jeopardizes a mission in order to save his girlfriend from a North Korean prison. As a result, one of the team’s minority members are killed. Thus, the minorities serve to awaken the conflict between the white protagonists. Here, it is the conflict between love and duty. Of course, Matt eventually chooses duty and subordination to Jed – easy enough, as his girlfriend is now rescued. Incredibly, everyone simply moves on from this.

    The thin explanation the film offers as to how North Korea invaded the United States is an EMP super-weapon that knocked out the entire American military. The North Koreans are able to maintain their own communications because of a separate system seemingly contained within a super-laptop. Thus, like so many other military movies [9] from Battle: Los Angeles to Independence Day to Starship Troopers, our heroes must seize part of the super-advanced enemy technology and enable a larger counter-offensive. It’s not a guerrilla campaign – it’s an action movie cliché. To complete the sense of “seen it before,” Hollywood’s favorite military heroes show up out of the blue – the United States Marine Corps.

    The Wolverines in the original never lost sight of their place in the larger struggle – shattered American tanks, whirling dogfights, and the occasional American helicopter showed the U.S. Military was still out there and fighting hard. Here, there’s apparently nothing for most of the movie until the usual pattern of modern military movies manifests. A three person team of Marines (which already doesn’t make sense, as the USMC is not noted for its small elite detachments) arrives to link up with the Wolverines. Instead of a grizzled pilot finding himself unexpectedly with kiddie soldiers, we have Jed and the re-imagined Sgt. Major Andrew Tanner (Watchmen’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan) – both Marines – working together as naturally as they were at Camp Lejeune.

    Not surprisingly, the United States Marine Corps does what it does best – conquer Hollywood, massively promote its public image, and turn a movie into a recruitment commercial for at least 20 minutes. Thus, the audience is treated to USMC slang like “mo-tard” and hoary chestnuts like the “deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.” If the Army and the Navy ever gaze on movie screens, they’ll find all the scenes are stolen by United States Marines [10].

    Jed is relatively restrained in his Marineness and for some reason doesn’t care to ask about his unit and, presumably, all of his friends. He does favor us with the slogan, “Marines don’t die, they just go to hell to regroup!” An apparent grunt at the back of the theater actually yelled “Oo-rah!” as the film slowly transformed into a farce. As they move to claim the super-laptop, Wolverines and jarheads alike sure-footedly clear a building like professional soldiers, rather than using the rag-tag tactics of Swayze’s guerillas. Like one of the neo-Wolverines mentioned earlier in the film, we’re watching people live out Call of Duty, while the previous film was more like the Battle of Algiers. Getting into the spirit as faceless enemies were slain, audience members cried “Amurrica!” triumphantly and giggled. Needless to say, the laptop is claimed, some people we don’t really care about are killed, Jed and Matt’s father is avenged, and the Devil Dogs fly home with the super-laptop in presumably the only helicopter the US military has left.

    Amazingly, the Wolverines stay behind – and have a party, complete with clinking beers and the promise of sex for Matt and Jed with the two pretty white females. These are the worst guerillas anyone has ever seen. Unexpectedly, the movie throws a curve, as Jed is suddenly shot through the head and killed, and Matt brusquely takes charge, leading the remainder of the group to safety. It’s revealed that our “Daryl” once again has led enemy forces to the group, but this time it is only because he was unknowingly injected with a tracker by a Russian soldier. Rather than a traitor, he’s a victim of tragedy, as the group leaves him behind for certain death because he obviously can’t be brought along anymore. Even though his father the mayor is a collaborator, diversity Daryl is a hero.

    In the end, we find a newly hardened Matt still behind enemy lines with the remnants of his group, including both pretty white girls (who, needless to say, survive without a scratch). Echoing his brother from earlier in the film, he is training whole new teams of guerillas. The film abruptly ends with the new partisan army storming one of the North Korean prison camps, waving the American flag. The audience looked confused, as if the movie had suddenly ended mid way. “What the hell just happened?” said one, in an apt five word review.

    The film’s purpose, other than a quick buck, is to rework the Red Dawn mythos so it fits into modern America. Thus, the heroes are no longer plucky guerillas but Marines, cops, and those trained by them. They’re not fighting out of rage – they are fighting because they were told to. White guerillas emerging out of the woods are scary. Multiracial kids living out Call of Duty and pounding high fructose corn syrup are fun and sexy. There is no interpretation where this film can be said to be “anti-state [11]” or counter-cultural.

    The North Korean occupation is, absurdly, far more humane than the Soviet one of the original, where huge groups of Americans were wiped out in retaliation. Here, faceless and motiveless North Koreans tromp around, but the reason for their invasion, the ideology behind it, and the horror of foreign occupation are all left in the background. Even the concentration camp seems less intimidating than that of the first film. This actually fits the ideology of modern America. As “American” can no longer be defined ethnically or even culturally, so must the enemy be rendered faceless and evil, but not so evil as to be offensive unless the bad guys are racists. All we have left are zombies, Nazis, aliens, white South Africans, some combination thereof, and, of course, North Koreans and Russian “ultra-nationalists” who are probably racist.

    The film is also properly diversified up [12]. Hispanics and Negroes populate the Wolverines and a black woman heroically aids the group from inside the city. The film’s “Toni” pines after Jed and is supposed to be a “tough girl” but it’s unclear why. Erica looks pretty and exists to be saved by Matt. Both magically transform into brilliant warriors, but lack the vulnerability of the two female Wolverines in the original, who suffered rape and sexual abuse at the hands of the Soviets. Instead of striking back out of hatred and revenge, our grrrl power neo-Wolverines are doing it to prove they are just as tough and cool as the men [13].

    The non-white Wolverines are treated rather contemptuously: set pieces who exist to be killed and fuel the motivations of the white characters. None of them even show up on the movie poster [14]. An interesting possibility is introduced when the Marines show up and one is Asian. He obviously knows Korean, as he uses his linguistic skills to create chaos over the enemy radio lines. However, there’s no question of divided loyalties. I expected a scene where a white American (probably with a Southern accent) would yell about all Asian-Americans being traitors, but none was forthcoming.

    The only uniformed collaborator we get to know is blonde-haired Pete (who is killed in satisfying fashion [15]), and the black mayor is obviously collaborating reluctantly. If the Chinese had stayed the enemy the question of ethnic loyalties could have been introduced, but it doesn’t exactly work that way with the nonexistent North Korean diaspora. In this film’s world, the only colors that matter are red, white, and blue. Needless to say, the contemporary American conservative movement loves [16]the movie [17]. The Beltway Right fantasy of various minorities joining together proudly under the Stars and Stripes (and the leadership of whites) exists on screen here, but nowhere in the real world.

    What, after all, is this America of government-sponsored family breakups, junk culture, and ethnic chaos that the neo-Wolverines are fighting to defend? At one point in the film, the Wolverines crash into a building to hide from North Koreans in hot pursuit. They turn to find they are in a crowded Subway restaurant with people staring at them. Thinking quickly, one partisan leaps to the counter and roars “Sandwich artist! Fill this shit with bread!” while another quickly dumps soda into a bucket. They run back to the base with the processed food and the Wolverines feast.

    The audience roared with laughter (and it was funny), but there is a troubling message. Consumerism, corporatism, and product placement, are, after all, what America is, although given the alternative of North Korea, McWorld seems like paradise. A Big Mac may taste like heaven after weeks of MREs, but when that’s the defining core of your society, you have a problem. In a scene where the Wolverines are talk about what they miss most, it’s all material possessions – except for Matt, who misses his girlfriend.

    It’s worth noting that although Milius is not necessarily opposed to hating on North Korea (he wrote the story for the video game Homefront [18]), he condemned the remake as unnecessary and went so far he would like to see a Red Dawn “about Mexico.” While using the same character names and general pattern, the remake systematically and deliberately cheapens the original film’s thematic power. If anything, Homefront has less of a simplistic video game plot than Red Dawn 2012. Significantly, the scene where Robert drinks the deer blood has been turned into a joke rather than a solemn rite of initiation. We’re not watching boys turn into men or young adults accepting the responsibility of warriors. We’re watching multiracial pinups act out the contemporary American governing ideology – multiracial diversity united under a corporate culture waving the American flag.

    Of course, it didn’t do any good. Liberal reporters shrieked that the movie was propaganda for the “Tea Party.” [19] Other progressives sneered that it had inspired racism [20] – not against Russians of course, who should all be killed, but against Asians [21]. Regardless of how diversified, statist, and bland the film was designed to be, the Left can never approve of Americans celebrating martial pride or even PC patriotism. The Stars and Stripes, the Corps, and even the idea of fighting for your country are all too associated with fascist whites and remnants of Tradition in the eyes of the Left.

    Conclusion

    Nonetheless, it won’t stop. The core symbols of the American past are slowly being redefined to fit the post-American present. The vessels stay the same, but the content is changed. Thus the military is redefined as egalitarian, in the American pantheon Thomas Jefferson is replaced by Martin Luther King, and the consensus around historical figures and periods like Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction is reinterpreted.

    Part of this process involves remaking successful pop culture franchises from the past, from Conan the Barbarian to The Karate Kid. While the remakes usually bomb, they accomplish the purpose of stripping anti-egalitarian themes from the past and ensuring the face of pop culture is never white. Thus, the original Red Dawn, a genuinely subversive movie, is transformed into a pro-government multicultural celebration of the new America. Leftists still think it’s too much, conservatives rush to support it, and the process continues. In the real world we live in, these new multicultural soldiers aren’t guerillas – they’re the occupiers, the paid servants of the cultural elite. The message of resistance lies in the original Red Dawn, the story of a folk uprising and a revolution from the periphery which uses Traditionalism couched within popular American symbols.

    Our real Wolverines have to overthrow our parasitic rulers for many reasons, but perhaps the most important is simply – “because we live here.” After all, “We’re all going to die – die standing up!”

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Light Entertainment:The (Implicitly) White Music of Scott Walker
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    No_Regrets_Scott_Walker

    [1]4,826 words

    No Regrets: Writings on Scott Walker [2]
    Edited by Rob Young
    London: Orion, 2012.

    “I’ve come far from chains/From metal and stone/From makeshift designs/And seeking a star” — Scott Walker, “Rhymes of Goodbye”

    “Searching for a more authentic life than just as another puppet on a string he withdrew into the world of his own music” — (“Didn’t Time Sound Sweet,” No Regrets, pp. 59–60)

    “For in this medley the worlds of high art and ‘pop’ art . . . all meet.” — Harold Beaver, “Introduction” to Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, ed. Harold Beaver (New York: Penguin, 1972), p. 25.

    The ongoing “career” — to use the inevitable but rather misleading term — of Scott Walker, from ’60s teen idol to ’70s Jack Jones-style crooner to ’80s recluse to 21st-century avant garde icon, is perhaps the most problematic in pop history, even surpassing, perhaps, “Elvis — What Happened?”

    No Regrets is a collection of around a dozen new essays, along with a couple of interviews, arranged chronologically by album release, that attempt to explain — at least in the sense of “make the details known,” if not exactly “make plain or comprehensible,” or “provide a motive for” — that unique trajectory of life and work.

    No one’s life or work, or life’s work, is likely “explainable” so there’s cause for complaint — no regrets! — if the unprecedented phenomenon of Scott Walker remains a mystery. Rather, the reader should appreciate the offer of enormous amounts of detail about not only Scott’s life — most of which, if known, is rather banal: parents’ divorce, life of both coasts of the US, petty juvenile delinquency, but still managing to make his Broadway debut and his first 45 while still in high school; screaming, bloodthirsty female fans; endless lucrative touring, both as a group and later solo; shopping sprees and self-medication with vodka and valium to cope therewith; then seclusion, save for an occasional orange juice commercial to make ends meet, releasing increasingly hermetic records every decade or so to acclaim from smaller, less violent mobs of fans — but also about the social and cultural atmosphere — such as the union rules that broke up sessions for mandatory tea breaks “just when you got something going” and forced Scott to break into the studio after hours to do overdubs without the contractually required presence of live musicians — in which he created his own contribution to that ’60s sound phenomenon Phil Spector once called “little symphonies for the kids” but, in Scott’s case, more influenced by Sibelius, Bartok or even Ligeti than Beethoven or Brahms.

    The reader shouldn’t expect “the answer(s)” about such a cultural phenomenon, and certainly not some “Very Short Introduction” or even “Complete Idiot’s Guide” to Scott, but rather enjoy the opportunity to take a private, after-hours tour, curated by expert docents, around various facets and angles of a rare work of art — rather like the book of essays on Joyce’s equally hermetic late work by Beckett and others published in 1929 as Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress [3] — and so come “to experience the awe and mystery” — to use the catchphrase from The Outer Limits, the Twilight Zone knock-off that was just finishing its run the year Scott’s plane set down in London — of Scott Walker.

    Naturally, though each is devoted to one or more of Scott’s albums, the essays vary widely in tone, length, and value. Oddly, the ones devoted to some of Scott’s most important albums — Nina Power on the first solo albums, Scott and Scott 2 and Brian Morton’s on the 1986 avant garde return Tilt — are the least valuable. Power’s is too short to say anything, while Morton throws around some opaque grad school terms like “significs” that shed no light; and while several essays take T. S. Eliot as a reference point for Scott’s physical and mental exile from America, with more or less insight, Morton says Walker’s “European sensibility” has “a distinctively American phenomenology” (see what I mean) that can only be compared to . . . Susan Sontag — the notion of Sontag being typically “American” about anything leading the reader to gag and even Sontag to spit at the author.

    Smack in the middle, and taking up about a third of the whole book, is the longest and most daring essay here, Ian Penman’s, which caught my attention right from the title, “A Dandy in Aspic,” taken from a favorite ’60s British spy novel and film, which I plan to review at some length in the coming year. In fact, the whole essay, in its barely controlled run-on of McLuhanesque “probes” tossed out and left behind, paradoxically combined with a sharp focus on the tiniest of details, reminds me, and perhaps the reader, of my own work here on Counter-Currents[1] — so good for him! But especially since it’s the longest essay here and centrally placed, I’d like to zero in on it a bit to give you some idea of its intriguingly allusive qualities.

    A Dandy in Aspic, the film,[2] opens with a Saul Bass-style sequence in which the credits appear over a dancing puppet that eventually become entangled in its strings and collapses. Penman starts “Dandy” right off by telling us that the contemporary icon of British MOR, and Scott’s presumed role model, Matt Monro (who sang the title song in From Russia with Love) was no “swarthy puppet on razzle-dazzle strings” but a working man like Ian’s dad and his chums, whose ascent to lounge stardom appealed because it exposed “the business of class” as “a world of illusion, strings pulled”(pp. 76–77). Through Monro, we are subliminally — Penman never makes the point explicitly, like some of Scott’s opaque lyrics — led to the film’s dandy, a double agent sent against his will from England to Europe, as Scott fled first America then England for Amsterdam and Sweden, both under assumed names: the spy’s is “Dancer,” while Scott’s is “Walker” (The Walker Brothers was a Righteous Brothers knock-off comprising neither brothers nor Walkers).

    Penman goes on to mount a spirited defense of the idea that “critical consensus” be damned, Middle Scott is the best Scott, really the Heart of Scott. For dedicated fans who fell in love with, or to, “the early stuff,” but, while glad he’s found some revered place in the history of pop, find the “later stuff” a little off-putting, it’s mighty welcome to have Penman on our side.

    Penman reminds us that in the actual world of the ’60s things were not so clear cut as they may seem “after the (youth) revolution” which was itself just a marketing scheme that meant little more than selling hippie wigs at Woolworths, while Jimmy Page did session work not just with The Who but Tom Jones and Harry Seacombe, “the Bow Tie Brigade” he calls them. In that context, Scott’s “lost years“ period of post-Brothers, post-solo albums, the period of movie soundtrack songs, ersatz “Country Western” made by middle-aged Brits in London, a TV variety show, and pub tours seems less incongruous, less of a challenge to the understanding.

    Some might even find it ideal: “the sudden illumination of serious art, mixed in with the cheap and heady cocktail rush of popular idiom” (p. 81). Eliot, another American exile, did something like that in the confines of “The Wasteland,” and Rob Young, the editor of this collection, reminds us that Scott arrived in London the month after Eliot’s death. Like the code phrase for the spy’s death in Dandy, it is “the passing of the buck” from Old Tom to Young Scott. Much of the pop cultural coverage on Counter-Currents fits that description, since only the despised pop or lowbrow cultural artifacts fly low enough under the elite radar to smuggle in some Traditionalist meaning.

    And despite touring with Hendrix, Scott was already “far nearer the MOR realm of Matt Monro,” even on those solo albums his fans consider to be the “real” Scott.

    The music pulls off the trick of looking in two directions at once, without feeling like it’s pulling in two directions at all. The surface may feel initially slight and bland, all quivering strings — but then you’re hooked, can’t turn away, keep returning. Songs with subtly shape everyday language into something oddly memorable. Some detail or undertow. You listen and things go dark. (pp. 82–83, my emphasis)

    Again, strings are pulled, but they’re yours, not his.

    And speaking of those “details” that hook you, Penman steps back from his defense of Scott’s unfashionable period to deliver a self-conscious defense of his own procedures, which could just as easily be used to defend my own, reviewing movies and TV shows from a high-minded Traditionalist perspective:

    Am I projecting too much on to mere makeweight songs? Or isn’t that the whole point and glory of such songs? That being slight or fluffy is no barrier to smuggling themselves illegally into places within our listening hearts . . . [unlike] the rock cult of ‘hidden meaning’ [there’s] the thrill of exposing something for yourself, finding something surprising in the sonic shadows you had no reason to suspect would be there. . . . The simplest word or phrase can end up freighted with impossible richness and ambiguity. (pp. 117–18)

    As Penman sums up Scott’s output during these MOR years:

    Of course Middle Scott is all surface; but as we well know, surface can become quite fugue-like with the right degree of concentration. This is the entire basis of the secrets of spell-casting and invocation. (p. 124)

    And as the British archetypal poet Jeremy Reed insists, the fan’s obsession with pop ephemera is a relation of the poet’s eye on the mundane, so it’s no surprise that Reed has produced several poems and even a rather stalkerish biography devoted to Scott.

    Unfortunately, Penman’s essay drawls down and peters out without really making much of a point — the titular Dandy in Aspic reference that got me all hopped up never becomes as explicit as I’ve made it here and ultimately goes nowhere — and one feels the editor should really have put his foot down and demanded one more rewrite. Still, Penman leaves us with this lovely image, a YouTube video of Scott, vintage 1972, singing some desolate Euro-MOR to some dissolute Euro-crowd, nicely dressed like the Rat Pack but mod; or mod enough but without a cravat or lace cuff to suggest Austin Powers, and even so intimating his secret nature, pop industry puppet no longer, now the Chakravartin, the Taoist Realized Man of no-action, the unmoved mover at the center of the cosmic wheel, the still point of the chaotic post-War era: “He is compellingly un-animated. A still point. He could be the unhappiest, drunkest man in Europe — but he looks like a perfectly Scandinavian picture of health” (p. 135, my emphasis).

    From blond American teen idol in England to Scandinavian lounge singer? On that note, let’s turn back to the collection as a whole. Each reader, of course, will have his own area of interest — which others might call his ‘bias’ — and those who recall my previous discussion of Scott on this site[3] will know that my own is using Scott Walker as a model for a future Aryan Musician, a proud maker of White Music. And so I was most interested in the evidence provided throughout the essays here of Scott’s exemplary Whiteness; indeed, many of his “mysteries” evaporate when one realizes, as most of the authors do not and likely would be horrified to consider, that one is dealing with not some Judaic crooner — even if Eddie Fisher gave him his first job, and there’s been a few Israeli managers and “collaborators” here and there since — but with a true Aryan.[4]

    Since I think most of the readers of this website share this interest, at least to some extent, and so I’ll give some indication of what these essays provide us, likely unknowingly, to flesh our idea of Scott Walker, White Musician in the modern age — or indeed, as the film biography calls him, the “30 Century Man.”[5] So here are some of the Aryan themes that are implicitly referenced throughout the book:

    First off, the name. As I’ve already noted, it’s not “really” Scott Walker, but Noel Scott Engle. A couple of writers here note how “Engle” relates to “Angle,” that is, the Anglo people who settled England, making England his natural home and Scott a synecdoche for the nation, or, as we would say, the White race. And a few others make the same connection as Pope Gregory – non Angli, sed angeli — while Penman, of course, goes recklessly further, linking his hermaphroditic beauty and melancholy Eurocentrism to Der Blaue Engel and “Walker” to Baudelaire’s flâneur, the angel as wandering ghost.

    The Walker Brothers act extended both the name play and the beauty. His agent’s secretary recalls “They were these American male gods who looked perfect” (p. 31); the front men were, as Greg Johnson recently said in another context [4], “both tall and blonde, which at one time was considered quintessentially “California.”

    It wasn’t really about the music alone, though. As I’ve suggested, based on the work of Michael Hoffman, classic rock, especially heavy metal and psychedelic, are the contemporary versions of pagan Mystery rites (and hence, of course, their implicit Whiteness). In the case of the Walkers, the “concerts were less about the music and more about playing out a ritualistic ceremony where the blond American gods appeared in the flesh before their braying worshippers” (p. 39).

    The flesh of the gods, of course, is provided by the entheogenic drugs accompanying such performances. While Bowie could only suggest that “we could be heroes just for one day” Scott, on the album that seemed to have provided Bowie and Eno with the template for their Berlin adventures, assured us on Nite Flights that “We will be gods.”

    Unfortunately for his career, and his record company, Scott was actually too Aryan to tolerate for long the messy unpleasantness of ’60s stage performance (screaming teenyboppers and endless touring on British Rail), and “the emerging counterculture and hippie underground made him shudder” (p. 150). The aforementioned secretary recalls that “Scott was very aloof. There was a certain amount of arrogance.” Indeed, Scott sounds a bit like Archie Bunker or even one of the Mobile Infantry of Starship Troopers as he recalls that “The place was crawling with hippies and there was no way around that, if you weren’t in their uniform. It was tough” (p. 152). Interestingly, Scott, like Alan Watts at the same moment, picks up on the real phoniness of the hippies’ supposedly “liberated” rags.

    So Scott retreated to — that is to say, took his stand in — the studio. Not that it was a big change, really. The Walkers “did not adhere to any accepted notion of authenticity as a group, either on stage or in the studio.” With a non-playing drummer and two guitarists who let session men handle the chores, they were “a mythical beast, spawned and constructed under laboratory conditions in the Phillips studios” (pp. 32–33).

    Again, it’s the whole notion of “authenticity” that puts Scott at odds with the modern “counter-culture,” where “the paradigm of authentic expression was interminable electric blues rock” (p. 89). Rock (which, Penman reminds us, was best described by the National Lampoon as “black roots music played by longhaired English homosexuals”) hates MOR because it’s “too smart . . . too implacably adult, it luxuriates in its stylized lack of passion . . . thoroughly ‘square’. No edge, no soul” (p. 90). I’ll say it, as Penman won’t: too White.

    Instead of grubby, yet ultimately fake “authenticity,” the White musician seeks technological perfection, producing a smooth, flawless result that is, ipso facto, truly authentic, because it is his own. “Pulse-free Muzak” (p. 88); “American music created in stilted laboratory conditions in Britain” (p. 13). By contrast, “Things were so primitive when I was performing . . . I simply could not achieve the results I was after. It was all quite so traumatic for me as a young man” (p. 40). “Scott 3 emerged at the height of psychedelics, and while it eschewed its methods, ideals, and its morality, it nevertheless makes ruptures in time and space that match any record of that era” (p. 67).

    How on Earth did he accomplish that? Two factors were key: the White pursuit of technological superiority in the studio is at the service of a Faustian quest for The New in sound; and respect for the Logos or Word: “All that guitar based stuff — I just feel that I’ve heard it before so many times. It goes on and on and never seems to end. It’s just the same narrow ground being worked over. I would drive me mad to have to work within those parameters” (p. 7). “Some guy strumming away, telling you the story of his life . . .” (p. 248).

    Or as Eno says in his interview in 30 Century Man: “I have to say it’s humiliating to hear this . . . you just think ‘Christ we haven’t got any further!’ I just keep hearing all these bands that sound like bloody Roxy Music and Talking Heads. We haven’t got any further than this. It’s a disgrace really!”

    “[I]t’s never about the meltdown of logic” but rather the opposite: “being allowed to record exactly how he visualizes everything” (p. 89), Scott was able to use the studio system with artistic precision due to another Aryan trait, his very un-hippie professionalism.[6] Middle Scott “was a pro. He huddles with the session guys and arrangers and gets the albums done. He doesn’t sink or slip away into drunk afternoon decrepitude” (p. 84).[7]

    Unlike tedious generations of White trash “rock stars” and “rap artists” that the Judaic music industry has chewed up and spit out bankrupt or dead, Scott had found a way to “ride the tiger.”

    “This is how you disappear” as the Scott lyric so frequently repeated in this collection goes. Cranking out “product” without the vulgarity of suicide or living out forgotten years in a Sunset Boulevard mansion. Hiding in plain sight, like the Russian double agent Eberlin/Krasnevin in Aspic, home “an improbable image,” “internal exile” in a “Siberia of the soul” even “inside your own [fake] name.” You’re “between checkpoints, a sonic no-man’s land . . . right inside the song itself” (pp. 86–87).

    By Scott 3 there were already “few of the trappings of rock” that would “time-stamp the album;” the songs were “untethered by percussion and stretch out endlessly . . . as if moving in zero gravity” (pp. 64–65, my emphasis).[8] As I suggested in the same essay, White music is proudly un-rhythmic, reaching for the Infinite by means of new technologies and instruments free of the “slavery of time.”

    Secondly, the lyrics: the key was to “focus on the word,” the Aryan Logos, “with the song at its service” (p. 71). Hence the interest or obsession, with the French chanson, à la Jacques Brel. At the same time, he wanted to “progress without becoming unmusical” (p. 57). Already in 1969’s Scott 3 the “lyrics” are as impenetrable as they’ll be on such later work as 1995’s Tilt — “Every single sound on the track is related to the lyric in some way” as he says in a 1995 interview (p. 199) — or 2006’s The Drift, where, in an interview that year Scott insists that even where there are “no beautiful string arrangements” but just “big blocks of sound and noises” you “always have to keep matching it to the lyrics” (p. 248).

    “Literary allusions and livid visions are crow-barred into dense, awkwardly scanning lines that need to be unpacked by the listener” while delivered by a voice “not always so far from Vegas” and “none of the wild style studio tricks that rock was exploring at the same time” (p. 73).

    Those lyrics, however abstruse, reflect a realistic Aryan individualism: “Scott’s prostitutes, hustlers, transvestites are not lumped together” — “the Masses” fit for self-congratulatory bleeding hearts to weep for at a distance — “but dealt with . . . individually . . .” (p. 108); as well as the high status of women in Aryan societies: “Not only does he not share the casual sexism of his rock/pop contemporaries, but some of Scott’s best songs are sung from a woman’s point of view” (p. 108).

    “Everything right out in the open but hardly anyone seems to have noticed. Why? Because it was set not to a twelve-bar blues but to a gorgeous caroming Broadway melody?” (p. 111) Indeed, more than that: “it has the sheer ease and economy and space of jazz. It has the balls of classic show tunes. It has the anger of protest. It has the unassuming cleverness of a Sondheim. Maybe that’s the problem — how much it jumps around” (p. 115). But it has to, since each song is about an individual, “a different person, a different nationality, a different era,” each one a “link in a chain of wasted lives” — “heartbreakers without kitsch” (p. 52).

    Just as the operatic and implicitly White rock of Jim Steinman (Meat Loaf) has been described (with a sneer) as “camp for straight people,” Stephen Kijak, director of the Scott bio film, 30 Century Man, recalls someone calling Scott’s music “Judy Garland for gays who grew up writing poetry and wearing black turtlenecks.” But “queer culture” is bigger than that, a “gap in our culture” (Kijak again) where Scott has placed himself, “insider looking out,” renouncing everything “we are supposed to want — money, sex fame” to “become a nobody, a place to work or not to work.”[9]

    Like Bartelby, he would prefer not to. So the realized man, as Coomaraswamy reiterated, has abandoned the ego and become nobody, his epitaph hic jacet nemo (“Nobody special” as Suzuki described himself), and as the Chakravartin, no longer the puppet controlled by others but the Universal Man in the Center, pulls all the strings himself, and works by not-working.

    That brings us back to the spiritual elements in Scott’s work, a spirituality of endlessly renewed struggle (again, “Europe Endless”) quite opposed to that of the passive Christian mentality (what Evola would call a “confused form of mysticism”): “Most of my stuff is about frustration, of being unable to hold on to a spiritual moment, always losing it” (p. 250). “I’m a man who struggles with spirituality whereas he [David Sylvain]’s given in to it. [My albums] are about struggle in a Dostoyevskian sense. It’s a real fight for me in every line. Whereas he’s given in to a state of grace” (p. 201).

    However difficult the struggle, the White Man finds it worth it; the reward is adulthood, and above all, Light, even if it is in the form of Ice or Glass. Even, or as Penman would have it, especially, in his MOR work: ‘Til the Band Comes In is just as obscurely avant garde as Climate of Hunter, but it is “his lightest work: light because adult, and adult because confident enough to be light” (p. 109). “Easy on the ear melodies that feel distinctly icy, with a weight of compacted absence, sadness, wasted time. Flawless like cheap glassware — pretty songs with no real prettiness. Light entertainment that lets no light escape” (p. 121, my emphasis).

    In Cesare della Riviera’s “The Magical World of the Heroes” (Il mondo magico de gli heroi), written in 1605 and edited by Evola in the early 20th century, there is an Italian pun that alchemists would return to over the centuries:

    ANGELO = ANtico GELO, i.e. the “Angel = Ancient Ice”

    Even if I haven’t convinced you that Scott Walker is the ultimate White musician and worthy of your attention for that reason alone, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in the mechanics of the post-war pop music industry or just some damned fine cultural writing. It’s really quite exciting to see such implicitly White music, both avant garde and MOR, receiving serious critical attention. White Nationalists should be heartened by it, and should encourage this unexpected entry point into the mainstream by purchasing multiple copies for family and friends!

    Notes

    1. Collected in in The Homo and the Negro: Masculinist Meditations on Politics and Popular Culture (San Francisco: Counter Currents, 2012), and the forthcoming The Eldritch Evola . . . and Others (San Francisco: Counter Currents, 2013).

    2. There’s no record of Scott’s interest in or even awareness of the film, but the theme, existential doubt in a Euro-Brit, Cold War setting, is similar to what he was gropingly exploring in the albums he was making at the same time, both originals and compilations of movie songs. He’d eventually contribute a song of his own to a James Bond film — such a downer it was dropped from the film and relegated to the soundtrack album, in a kind of karmic payback for those late ’60s potboilers of his. His early career was short-circuited when his patron, Eddie Fisher, was dumped by Liz for Richard Burton, who played the definitive ’60s existentialist agent in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

    3. “I’ll Have a White Rock, Please — Implicit Whiteness, Aryan Futurism and the Godlike Genius of Scott Walker,” reprinted in The Homo and the Negro.

    4. Rather than vaguely insinuating what “White” is, I base myself here on Baron Evola’s discussion of the ideal type of the “Roman Spirit” found in Men Among the Ruins:

    This original Roman spirit was based on a human type characterized by a group of typical dispositions. Among them we should include self-control, an enlightened boldness, a concise speech and determined and coherent conduct, and a cold dominating attitude, exempt from personalism and vanity. . . . The same style is characterized by deliberate actions, without grand gestures; a realism that is not materialism but rather love for the essential; the ideal of clarity, which eventually turned into rationalism in only some Latin peoples; an inner equilibrium and a healthy suspicion for every confused form of mysticism — a love for boundaries; the readiness to unite, as free human beings and without losing one’ s identity, in view of a higher goal or for an idea. We may also add religio and pietas, which do not mean “religiosity” in the Christian sense of the word, but instead signify for a Roman an attitude of respectful and dignified veneration for the gods and, at the same time, of trust and reconnection with the supernatural, which was experienced as omnipresent and effective in terms of individual, collective, and historical forces. Obviously, I am far from suggesting that every Roman man and woman embodied these traits; however, they represented the “dominant factor” and were embodied in the ideal that everybody perceived to be specifically Roman. [. . .]

    The Roman chastity or sobriety of speech, expression, and gesture is contrasted by the gesticulating, noisy, and disordered exuberance of the Mediterranean type, by his mania for communication and effusiveness, and by his feeble sense of boundaries, hierarchy, and silent subordination. The counterpart of these traits is often a lack of character, the tendency to get excited and become drunk with words: verbosity, a flaunted and conventional sense of honor, susceptibility, concern for appearances but with little or no substance. The expression “Pobre in palabras pew in obras largo” [Poor of words but rich in deeds], which characterized the ancient Spanish aristocratic type, should be compared with Moltke’s characterization: “Talk little, do much, and be more than you appear to be”; all this points to the “Roman” style. (p. 259)

    5. Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, directed by Stephen Kijak, 2007 The title comes from one of Scott‘s compositions on his Scott 3 album — the cover of which reduces him to a single, cover-filling eye, at once anonymous and icon of Aryan genetics. The song is perhaps most generally familiar from its use in The Life Aquatic.

    6. As Penman notes, the old time soul revues were, for all their “funk” rather like MOR than rock: professionalism, crowd-pleasing, matching outfits, and elaborate choreography. James Brown was proud to be “the hardest working man in show business.” Les extrêmes se touchent: I suggest, as I did in my earlier essay, that the White man impresses the Negro not by imitating him — dancing around like a monkey — but precisely by taking his Whiteness “up to 11” and being himself to the nth degree — true authenticity. Grandmaster Flash was knocked out by the motionless Kraftwerk: “They were so stiff, they swung!”

    7. Bogart was a similar professional, who keep the drinking, though heavy, after work hours, and also like Scott, that “easy to work with” image helped keep him in demand with producers where more “temperamental” artistes might have been exiled. See my essay on Bogart reprinted in The Homo and the Negro. Oddly enough, Brian Dillon, in his review of this book, refers to Scott as “Bacall-beautiful”: “Brian Dillon on Scott Walker’s manic pop stardom and long vanishing act.” The Guardian, Friday, July 27, 2012.

    8. “Stretch” was Scott’s nickname, for his height, and the title of one of his MOR albums; “endlessly” recalls Kraftwerk’s “Europe Endless” and again, the puppet strings of Dandy in Aspic. David Toop’s essay describes Scott’s music as “flexing, sagging, cracking, breathing, stretched over bloody fluidity.”

    9. From the essay “Black Sheep Boy,” pp. 56–57 — the title comes from a song on one of Scott’s solo albums, but it’s also the title of Joel Grey’s solo album, who is best known for his performance in Cabaret with Garland’s daughter, Liza.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • From Odd John to Strange Love Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Bomb
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    DrStrangelove060Pyxurz

    [1]4,887 words

    Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [2]
    Director: Stanley Kubrick; written by Peter George, Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern
    Columbia Pictures (1964) 

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Hmm . . . Strangelove? What kind of a name is that? That ain’t no Kraut name is it, Stainesey?

    Mr. Staines: He changed it when he became a citizen. Used to be ‘Merkwürdigliebe.’

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Well, a Kraut by any other name, uh Stainesey?

    The German word “Gemeinschaft” means “A spontaneously arising organic social relationship characterized by strong reciprocal bonds of sentiment and kinship within a common tradition.” In this context the discussion of the post-apocalypse society living in mine shafts at the end of the film presents an interesting double-entendre. Dr. Strangelove’s remarks about the participants in the new society spontaneously accepting new social norms and having “bold curiosity for the adventure ahead” is especially germane. Also, General Turgidson’s admonition to “not allow a mine shaft gap” at the end is a particularly vivid pun.[1]

    Toward the end of my reflections on Olaf Stapledon’s queer utopia, Odd John, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [3] put in a brief appearance.[2] I think a closer look at how the movie appears in the light of our reflections would be interesting.

    I would suggest that despite its status as a classic “black comedy,” and whatever the intentions of its creators to reveal the modern world as a dystopia, the film can be seen as presenting a series of increasingly perfected — though somewhat claustrophobic — utopian Männerbunde.[3]

    Each is a group of men (with one small exception to the rule[3]), cut off from the rest of the world, operating by its own rules. As we’ll see, the B-52 is a closed tube in the upper atmosphere, with oxygen masks for emergencies; we only see it open up when Maj. Kong forces open the bomb bay doors to his doom. Burbleson Air Force Base is, cinematically, nothing but Gen. Ripper’s office — even his en suite bathroom is unseen — with some second unit cut-aways to show the storming attack. Then there’s Gen. Turgidson’s motel room, followed by The War Room, which is obviously sealed off and perhaps underground; Turgidson freaks when the Russian Ambassador enters (“He’ll see the Big Board!”); then Strangelove’s mine shaft vision.

    Each unit includes one outsider, like “Fido” at John’s colony: RAF Captain Mandrake, Turgidson’s female “assistant,” James Earl Jones as the anachronistic black pilot,[5] and the Russian Ambassador whose appearance in the War Room freaks out Turgidson.

    Additionally, each utopian segment ends with a symbolic ejaculation, a destructive opening to the outside: the iconic scene of Maj. Kong riding the bomb down, “Bat” Guano shoots the Coke machine and gets a spurt of soda in the face; Turgidson’s last words in the motel room are “Blast off!”; a climactic pie-fight was cut from the War Room scene, which now ends with the compulsively saluting Strangelove rising erect from his wheelchair; his utopian vision ends with the equally iconic montage of phallic mushroom clouds.

    Each, in some sense, fails, but as we’ve seen with Odd John, this is just a genre convention of utopian writing; the final group will succeed beyond its own imagination. And each climaxes with a big smile.[6]

    For once, TV Tropes has got it exactly wrong:

    World Gone Mad [4]: Every single group of people are various sorts of insane, incompetent, and/or incapable of focusing on the important subject at hand. Except for the bomber crew, who are all well-trained and manage to adapt to the various obstacles in their path. Too bad they’re the one group that desperately needs to fail.

    1. Burpleson Air Force Base

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Colonel! Colonel, I must know what you think has been going on here! […]

    Colonel “Bat” Guano: I think you’re some kind of deviated prevert. I think General Ripper found out about your preversion, and that you were organizing some kind of mutiny of preverts. Now MOVE!

    Or in practice, the executive office of Base Commander Gen. Jack D. Ripper. Apart from a couple cutaways during the Army’s attempt to retake the base, and the business with the Coke machine and the telephone booth in the corridor, we are entirely with Gen. Ripper’s private realm. Although the rugby balls and Greek grammars have been replaced with bombs, rifles, and bullets

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Shoot it off! Shoot! With a gun! That’s what the bullets are for, you twit!

    the atmos’ is more like a British public school. Gen. Ripper commands not men but “my boys.”

    General “Buck” Turgidson: [reading Gen. Ripper’s last communication] “My boys will give you the best kind of start, 1,400 megatons worth, and you sure as hell won’t stop them now.”

    There’s even intra-mural rivalry:

    General Turgidson, with all due respect for your defense team my boys can brush them aside without too much trouble.

    And while the base troops do eventually surrender – “My boys let me down” [7] – we’ll see that at least one plane in the Attack Wing will get through.

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Mr. President, if I may speak freely, the Russkie talks big, but frankly, we think he’s short of know-how. I mean, you just can’t expect a bunch of ignorant peons to understand a machine like some of our boys. . . . if the pilot’s good, see, I mean, if he’s really…sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low [he spreads his arms like wings and laughs], you oughtta see it sometime, it’s a sight. A big plane like a ‘52. VRROOM! There’s jet exhaust, fryin’ chickens in the barnyard.

    President Merkin Muffley: Yeah, but has he got a chance?

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Has he got a chance? Hell, Ye…ye…

    So Peter Sellers’ role as Group Captain Mandrake, ex-RAF pilot, is quite appropriate here. He’s a slightly slow on the uptake senior boy, getting some private tutoring from the Headmaster;[8] it’s a reversal of the Boy’s Own Mag world of Stalky & Co., where the playing fields of Eton have simply become the theatre of war.

    Base Commander Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, in the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress come here and feed me this belt, boy!

    The lesson Ripper imparts is, of course, his famous “purity of essence” meme, the original “conspiracy theory.”[9] Along the way, though, he gives Mandrake a history lesson that will become important at the end:

    General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No, I don’t think I do, sir, no.

    General Jack D. Ripper: He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

    As Trevor Lynch has noted here on several occasions: in the modern world, only madmen are allowed to articulate the truth.[10]

    Burpleson is ultimately taken back by the Army, and General Ripper, true to the public school ethos, “does the right thing, old chap” and commits suicide.[11] This is the darkest utopia (note the cinematography) but even so, it’s, as we’ve said before, only a genre convention, not an admission of defeat.[12] Indeed, we’ll see that Ripper’s vision — rule by the elite — will come to pass.

    To lighten the mood, and provide the real ending, we have Mandrake’s monkeying around with the pay phone, and “Bat” Guano’s encounter with the Coke machine. It’s the audience that can be expected to smile when “Bat” fires his rifle and gets a Coke facial in return — “a Coke and a smile,” as the ad would say a few years later.[13] Meanwhile, the utopian, anti-economic scarcity note is again sounded as Mandrake doesn’t have enough money for the phone, and “Bat” sneers at the idea of “going into combat with loose change in my pocket.”

    1a. The Motel Room

    The Motel Room is an odd little scene, that does little but show us Gen. Turgidson being summoned to the War Room in the midst of a tryst with his “assistant.” It’s as much a closed environment as Ripper’s office — later we’ll see Ripper enter the bathroom to shoot himself, here Turgidson enters the scene from the bathroom. More connections: Premier Kissoff will be caught in a similar tryst during the War Room scene, and the General’s “assistant” will turn up in the Playboy centerfold viewed by a crew member onboard “The Leper Colony” (her ass covered with an issue of Foreign Affairs, nudge nudge) and presumably is the unwanted caller to Turgidson in the War Room,

    General “Buck” Turgidson: I told you never to call me here, don’t you know where I am? . . . Well look, baby, I c-, I can’t talk to you now . . . my president needs me!

    but otherwise it has little to do with the rest of the film. I suspect it’s here to establish Gen. Turgidson’s, and by extension the rest of the “boys’” hetero cred; otherwise we might be suspicious, since he contemns Kissoff for his tryst as a “degenerate” (another “prevert” for the “Leper Colony” no doubt) and other than shouting “Blast off!” he doesn’t seem to have much interest in Miss Foreign Affairs, prefering to answer the call of his President.

    2. “The Leper Colony”

    The men will cheer and the boys will shout
    The ladies they will all turn out
    And we’ll all feel gay
    When Johnny comes marching home.

    The B-52 and the War Room are the most famous segments. I say “the” B-52 since although Ripper clearly orders a “wing attack” and we see dozens of vectors on The Big Board,[14] but only one plane is ever shown. The B-52 is code-named “The Leper Colony,” which “designates the crew as incompetent, even degenerate,”[15] but also sounds Odd John’s themes of island utopias of physically deformed social outcasts that seem retarded but get lots of high-tech things done.

    Major T. J. “King” Kong: Stay on the bomb run boys, I’m gonna get those bomb doors open if it harelips everyone on Bear Creek.[16]

    As IMDB noted above, the crew is actually quite competent, even heroic and self-sacrificing; an ideal Männerbund. It’s impossible not to be rooting for them, and unlike IMDB, I think Counter-Currents readers, at least, will find their goal quite admirable. And what Aryan male wouldn’t want to go out riding an ICBM onto Laputa?[17]

    The precise function of Plan R, and the CRM 114 coding device, which is not to be able to receive, recalls Odd John’s use of psychic techniques to confuse anyone — as here, both Soviets and Brits — nosing around the island. We can’t tell from the angle but he might be taking his iconic bomb ride on the one designated “Dear [Odd?] John.”

    3. The War Room

    The culminating utopia, in many senses, is of course the War Room. Several of the themes we’ve noted are tied together here. It’s a macho environment where women only intrude from the outside: first, Gen. Turgidson receives an unwanted call from (presumably) the woman — his secretary, not his wife — we saw him with earlier (in another closed environment — a motel room — where another unwanted call sends him to the War Room).

    General “BuckTurgidson: I told you never to call me here, don’t you know where I am? . . . Well look, baby, I c-, I can’t talk to you now… my president needs me!

    Then, to bring the Russian premier to the Hot Line requires the Ambassador to reveal his secret rendezvous:

    Russian Ambassador: Our Premier is a man of the people, but he is also . . . a man, if you follow my meaning.

    Gen. Turgidson erupts with outrage at the Premier being a “a degenerate atheist commie!” which is odd, since, apart from the hypocrisy, the Ambassador’s comment should be lessening the homoerotic implications of Turgidson’s spurning his girlfriend to serve his President’s needs.

    Perhaps he is offended by the implication of Kissoff (note the name) actually consummating the act, since Turgidson never seems to:

    General “Buck” Turgidson: I know how it is, baby. Tell you what you do: you just start your countdown, and old Bucky’ll be back here before you can say “Blast off!

    Maj. Ripper earlier clarified the code of the Männerbund:

    Base Commander Jack D. Ripper: Women, er, women sense my power, and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake . . . but I do deny them my essence.

    Only in the “modern world” would this be construed as madness or, heavens, “repressed.”[18]

    But don’t get them wrong; when needed, under the appropriate conditions, these boys can get the job done!

    President Merkin Muffley: Is there really a chance for that plane to get through?

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Mr. President, if I may speak freely, the Russkie talks big, but frankly, we think he’s short of know-how. I mean, you just can’t expect a bunch of ignorant peons to understand a machine like some of our boys. . . . if the pilot’s good, see, I mean, if he’s really. . . sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low [he spreads his arms like wings and laughs], you oughtta see it sometime, it’s a sight. A big plane like a ‘52. VRROOM! There’s jet exhaust, fryin’ chickens in the barnyard.

    President Merkin Muffley: Yeah, but has he got a chance?

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Has he got a chance? Hell, Ye . . . ye . . .

    And a good thing, because they will be called on to perform heroic service. That’s because despite all the cheers and smiles all around, the recall efforts end in failure, and “The Leper Colony” gets through. But wait, this isn’t the end, really; there’s more! This leads us to the Final Utopia, Strangelove’s “post-war future.”

    4. Strangelove’s “Astonishingly good idea”

    As all the Gloomy Guses sit around waiting for the Doomsday Machine to blanket the Earth in a “radioactive shroud,” something remarkable takes place. Despite “acting as cartoonishly evil [5] as possible,” Strangelove is suddenly revealed as the smartest, and sanest, man in the room.

    [T]here’s a brief scene with the president demanding to know who would create a doomsday device; the camera lingers on Strangelove, calmly smoking in the shadow, the president off-screen. A few minutes later, Strangelove casually suggests the mine shaft survival plan, a new system of government, including who lives and who dies. For all intents and purposes, he takes over the US government right then and there, in front of its actual leaders, who are oblivious. Nobody said the Only Sane Man [6] has to be a good person.

    Just like Odd John,

    He looks and speaks like a Looney Tunes [7] character, but everything he says is coldly rational.

    Strangelove’s dark glasses recall John’s “eyes like caves.”[19] Although his mechanical arm with a life of its own references both Rottwang and Robot/Maria from Metropolis (another curdled utopia); not only mad scientist but like Robot/Maria he seems to have two natures, embodied in the mechanical arm, not unlike Odd John’s ability to operate on two levels of consciousness, personal and communal.[20]

    While we might imagine his arm was injured in an experimental accident, like Rottwang, or that he was crippled in the war, like Baron Evola, none of this is made explicit; Strangelove, like one of the freaks in John’s troupe, could have just been born that way. In any event, the prospect of nuclear annihilation — “brighter than a thousand suns” — literally erects him, just as Baron Evola asked to be wheeled to a window so that he could die like his Aryan ancestors, upright and facing the rising sun.

    But is it the end; death and destruction? Before that climax, Strangelove has narrated his seemingly well-rehearsed utopian dream, which deserves to be quoted in full:

    Dr. Strangelove: I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens. It would be quite easy. . . heh, heh . . . at the bottom of ah . . . some of our deeper mineshafts. Radioactivity would never penetrate a mine some thousands of feet deep, and in a matter of weeks, sufficient improvements in dwelling space could easily be provided.

    Muffley: How long would you have to stay down there?

    Dr. Strangelove: Well let’s see now ah . . . cobalt thorium G. . . . Radioactive halflife of uh, . . . I would think that uh . . . possibly uh . . . one hundred years.

    Muffley: You mean, people could actually stay down there for a hundred years?

    Dr. Strangelove: It would not be difficult, Mein Führer! Nuclear reactors could, heh . . . I’m sorry, Mr. President. Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plant life. Animals could be bred and slaughtered. A quick survey would have to be made of all the available mine sites in the country, but I would guess that dwelling space for several hundred thousands of our people could easily be provided.

    Muffley: Well, I, I would hate to have to decide . . . who stays up and . . . who goes down.

    Dr. Strangelove: Well, that would not be necessary, Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross-section of necessary skills. Of course, it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. Ha, ha. But ah, with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present Gross National Product within say, twenty years.

    Muffley: But look here doctor, wouldn’t this nucleus of survivors be so grief-stricken and anguished that they’d, well, envy the dead and not want to go on living?

    Dr. Strangelove: No, sir . . . excuse me . . . When they go down into the mine, everyone would still be alive. There would be no shocking memories, and the prevailing emotion will be one of nostalgia for those left behind, combined with a spirit of bold curiosity for the adventure ahead! [involuntarily gives the Nazi salute and forces it down with his other hand] Ahhh!

    Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn’t that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?

    Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious . . . service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

    Russian Ambassador: I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor.

    It’s all there, the whole National Socialist utopia, complete with self-selected elite and selective breeding.

    While Strangelove is conventionally seen as a “black comedy” in which the post-war doctrine of “mutual assured destruction” (MAD) is ruthlessly satirized, we can see, in the light of our earlier reflections on the utopian genre, that once Kubrick or his co-writers settled, likely unconsciously, on the multi-utopian structure, he was committed to the fact that the logic of utopia leads to an apparently – but only apparently – disastrous conclusion.

    The final segment then, is not really a fiery Götterdämmerung, at least not for Strangelove and Co.[21] It is not Strangelove’s comeuppance, but his triumph.

    We Will Meet Again: The memorable final montage plays the song of the same name over images of atomic explosions, implying the two superpowers are destined to trade blows ever after.[22]

    A sappy WWII Brit tune; we’ve met the Nazis again; we [today] will all meet again — this time the “Allies” will wipe out each other, and the only German (“a Kraut by any other name”) in the room is the only one still standing.

    We don’t know how much time passes from Strangelove’s exultant “Mein Fuhrer, I can walk”[23] and his initial baby steps,[24] to the Doomsday machine going off. Strangelove & Co. are presumably already protected in the War Room, and may have had time to put together some version of Strangelove’s mineshaft utopia.[25]

    If so, Kubrick’s film has foreshadowed Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (which returns the favor by ending with a hapless soldier riding a V-2) which Dale Carter has analyzed[26] as presenting the posthumous triumph of the Third Reich in the form of the Kennedy-led space race:

    In this book, Carter draws on Thomas Pynchon’s novel ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ to define the post-World War Two period as the ‘Rocket State’, a social form salvaging elements of the defeated Nazi ‘Oven State’ to create a totalitarian capitalist order. The rocket, based on Nazi military technology, is a central element of this as the launch vehicle for both nuclear weapons of mass destruction and the Apollo programme, highest point of the propagandist spectacle or, as Carter calls it ‘the Orpheus Theater’ where at the conclusion of Gravity’s Rainbow the spectators watch the screen as the rocket heads towards their destruction.[27]

    Much as Strangelove & Co. must have watched the Big Board, we watch the final montage. Muffley himself recognizes the ominous parallels:

    Muffley: I refuse to go down in history as the greatest mass murderer since Adolf Hitler.

    Turgidson: Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American people, than with your image in the history books.

    Each utopia has superficially failed, but each sets up the final one (the final solution?) which has succeeded, although the logic of the utopian genre requires, as we saw, that this one too apparently fail, spectacularly.

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.[28]

    Fail Safe?[29]

    In a final, ironic — or rather, utopian — reversal, the bombs are dropped on the Allies, and after this new “holocaust” all the messy aspects of eugenics — exterminating the unfit — are left behind, leaving only the pleasurable eugenic tasks of Kraft durch Freude, with the males called upon to perform heroic services on specially selected females. Everyone is smiling in anticipation, and even Ambassador de Sadesky joins in:

    Russian Ambassador: I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor.

    See, if you squint at Dr. Strangelove through the utopian lens we’ve provided, where the apocalypse is just a genre convention, it’s clear that the Nazis come back, and this time they win![30] I like to think this would bring a smile to Savitri Devi herself.[31]

    Notes

    1. An anonymous bit of “Trivia” at the Internet Movie Database, here [8].

    2. “‘The Wild Boys Smile’: Reflections on Olaf Stapledon’s Odd John,” especially footnote 10 of Part Three, here [9].

    3. Each of the main three would have featured Peter Sellers, playing the “Only Sane Man [6]” each time, “but a sprained ankle prevented him from getting into and out of the B-52 set, so Slim Pickens was added to the cast to play ‘King’ Kong.” TV Tropes, Acting For Three: [10]Peter Sellers [11].

    4. “Fanservice [12]: Precisely one female character appears in this movie. General Turgidson’s mistress and secretary, heard in one scene and seen in a bikini in another. She is also a Playboy [13] centrefold.” – TV Tropes

    5. Like the “Tuskegee Airmen,” black pilots are a modern Liberal myth; see Paul Kersey’s Stuff Black People Don’t Like, passim, such as “Black History Month Heroes — Sky Marshal Tehat Meru of Starship Troopershere [14].

    6. Kong’s “yippe-yi-ay” on the bomb, Turgidson’s “Blast off!” to his secretary, Strangelove’s iconic Risus sardonicus. Ripper’s suicide would not seem to fit; this is why, as noted, the segment has two endings. When “Bat” Guano takes the Coke stream to the face, the audience can be expected to laugh — it’s a “black comedy” after all — and this ties in with what Murphy said about the Wild Boys’ smiles — they invite the audience into participation.

    7. “A Father to His Men [15]: When the base falls Ripper feels let down and remarks that the soldiers were like his children. It rings as true as anything else he says. Mandrake manages to obliquely mock him.

    Mandrake: I’m sure they all died thinking of you, every man jack of them . . . Jack.” – TV Tropes

    On the contrary, I would suggest that “man jack” suggests the utopian union of Jack Ripper and his boys, symbolized by Mandrake, as does Mandrake’s fake nostalgia for earlier helping Ripper with the machine gun: “You said, ‘feed me’ and I fed you Jack . . .”

    8. And we know where that’s going: “No Sense of Personal Space [16]: As Ripper gets drunk, he starts getting uncomfortably close and hands-on toward Mandrake, suggesting a possible [17]explanation [18] for his sexual issues.”

    9. At the time a well-known hobby horse of the Right, it’s surprising how it continues to be a kind of cargo cult on the Left. Concern about using early PR techniques “after the war” as Ripper correctly notes, to convince local governments to allow a poisonous industrial waste product into the water supply, seems tailor made for the Left, especially after all the Rachel Carson business and modern concerns with GMOs etc. Apparently, the “commie plot” angle led it to become a shibboleth, like the “innocence” of Hiss or authenticity of “folk” music, constantly invoked as a test of loyalty (oddly enough, the Right had the same idea about loyalty tests). Only Alexander Cockburn, Stalinist that he was, seemed to have the guts to challenge the Left. Indeed, good-thinking sites like HuffPo now attack anti-GMO activists as “creationists of the Left;” GMOs, fluoridation and even circumcision, if not climate change, seems to be one of those “scientific facts” only known to American Leftists, puzzling the rest of the world.

    10. “Dangerously Genre Savvy [19]: General Ripper may be demented but he knows his trade; he’s shown as an experienced and competent leader who invokes, anticipates and discusses very relevant tropes.” – TV Tropes.

    11. Even a light-hearted romp by a Catholic author ends with Lord Peter himself recommending, successfully, suicide to the club bounder in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club [20] (1928).

    12. The bathroom suicide recalls the one in Advise and Consent which we discussed here [21].

    13. The comedy is so deliberate that “the actor’s head was too high when the stream began to spew toward him, and he can be seen lowering his face down into it to produce the full comedic effect.” – IMDB, “Goofs [22].”

    14. “Bombers on the Screen [23]: The primary purpose of The Big Board [24].” – TV Tropes.

    15. “Dark Roots: Humor and Tragedy in Doctor Strangelove [25]” by Caran Wakefield.

    16. No one since seems to understand WTF Kong is talking about, but I note the connection to the harelipped “Tooth Fairy” in Manhunter, which I referenced before in discussing the ugliness and deformity of Odd John’s horde.

    17. “La puta” of course is “the whore,” in line with the obsessive sexual symbolism of the film, but also a reference to Swift’s airborne utopia of scientific cranks; as we’ll see next, taking out Laputa will make way for Strangelove’s very different, solidly based ge-mineshaft utopia.

    18. See Andy Nowicki’s meditations on the demeaning subtext of the macho “Game” theorists; for example, “Trouble in Twilight” here [26].

    19. “Cool Shades [27]: Dr. Strangelove’s teashades.” – TV Tropes.

    20. “Evil Hand [28]: Dr. Strangelove has one, which seems to act on Strangelove’s violent and Nazi subconscious. The portrayal was so influential that the real life condition “alien hand syndrome” is also known as “Dr. Strangelove Syndrome”. – TV Tropes.

    21. Cf. the iconic boys’ book, Kipling’s Stalky and Co.

    22. TV Tropes, Dr. Strangelove [29].

    23. Strangelove’s lapse into German links him to the equally deceptive failure at the end of Hesse’s Demian: “In the very last sentence of the novel Sinclair addresses Demian, his recently departed friend and mentor, as ‘mein Führer’.” Mark Harmon, review of Gunnar Decker’s Hesse: Der Wanderer und sein Schatten in the TLS (14 September, 2012); available here [30].

    24. “Physicist Isidor Rabi noticed Oppenheimer’s disconcerting triumphalism: “I’ll never forget his walk; I’ll never forget the way he stepped out of the car . . . his walk was like High Noon . . . this kind of strut. He had done it.” — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Robert_Oppenheimer [31].

    25. Itself an obviously phallic notion: satirizing the “missile gap [32]” — a lie about the aged Eisenhower that helped put virile Kennedy in the White House; Turgidson demands that “Mr. President, we must prevent a mineshaft gap!”

    26. Dale Carter, The Final Frontier: The Rise and Fall of the American Rocket State (New York: Verso 1988).

    27. An outdated webpage at http://www.oocities.org/redgiantsite/moon.html [33] which also includes an excerpt from Carter’s book.

    28. Samuel Beckeyt, Worstward Ho (1983).

    29. In a replay of the whole “Incredibly Strange Creatures” kerfuffle that we referenced before, “Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove were both produced by Columbia Pictures. . . . Director Stanley Kubrick, adapting Peter George’s [34] novel Red Alert [35], insisted the studio release his movie first (in January 1964). “Fail-Safe” so closely resembled Red Alert that George filed a plagiarism lawsuit. The case was settled out of court.” —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fail-Safe_%281964_film%29#Lawsuit [36].

    30. Albeit an underground triumph, which does fit in with many “Nazi survival” mythologies.

    31. Although she wouldn’t like that bit about “animals raised and slaughtered.”

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Hunter / Prey: Pro-White Sci-Fi
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]1,450 words

    Hunter / Prey
    Written & directed by Sandy Collora
    Starring Isaac C. Singleton, Jr. & Damion Poitier
    (2010)

    “I sold my comics to make this movie!” — Sandy Collora

    Hunter / Prey is an independent sci-fi movie from 2010 by producer Sandy Collora. Although Collora is potentially part of the tribe, Hunter / Prey is such a departure from popular sci-fi in the current year that it’s an interesting examination of how the genre can be revived and redirected. With a constraining budget of under half a million dollars, Hunter / Prey is a tightly-scripted, action-focused film that makes the most out of what can be achieved with that small sum — actors running around in costumes in the middle of the desert, with a computer graphics starship to set the thing in motion.

    [2]

    The ship, carrying a dangerous prisoner, is forced to make a crash-landing onto a desert planet that experiences scorching 33-hour days. During the crash, the masked captive makes his escape. The soldiers who pursue him are all dressed in what looks like Power Ranger armor if it had been designed by King Leonidas. Unlike real Spartans, however, these mercenaries are barely competent and argumentative, and so are easily picked off one by one. Nonetheless, they have the edge of possessing superior armor and weaponry, and thus begins a deadly cat-and-mouse game of misdirection and deceit. A rescue ship has been summoned, and the countdown to its arrival keeps the tension high.

    [3]

    With the believability provided by professional actors, costumes produced out of a labor of love, and a plot mercifully free of any politically correct tropes or moralizing, Hunter / Prey is an immersive film that is outright superior to much mainstream cinema. It demonstrates that more really can be less when the audience focus isn’t spread like Marmite over multiple protagonists (for example, Infinity War and The Last Jedi both suffered from an overload of potential leads). Hunter / Prey has eight walking characters plus one disembodied computer voice, and no more than four are present at any one time. As the movie progresses, this is whittled down to two: the handsome and muscular Aryan, Clark Bartram (an American fitness guru and author), and the alien African-American Damon Poitier wearing Blue Man Group face-paint. Poitier stars alongside another alien played by an African-American, Isaac C. Singleton, Jr., so the ethnic breakdown of the cast intentionally matches the fictional species. Besides this, Collora himself stars as one of his own monsters, a bounty hunter with orc ears and plenty of teeth. Between the well-crafted and memorable outfits and clearly inhospitable setting of Mexico, Hunter / Prey creates a racially-charged tale of survival and revenge through its cast and direction alone.

    With such paltry resources to work with, and absent big sets and swathes of extras to establish that this distant planet really is another planet, Hunter / Prey has to rely on expository dialogue to build up the universe and bring further meaning to the violence the actors mete out to each other. Without this, Hunter / Prey would lapse into being a costumed tussle-up. In order to make itself work and to make the actors representative of larger, believable factions in conflict, Hunter / Prey falls back on cinematic tropes that have since been abolished by multicultural cant: the heroic white man enduring and overcoming savagery, and something even more taboo, irreconcilable ethnic conflict. Racial animosity and the threat of might-makes-right genocide is at the heart of this film.

    Collora and his writers take pains to demonstrate the essential difference between the human prisoner and his pursuers: The prisoner mask Bartram is forced to wear has some kind of inhibiting or feeding tube that goes down his throat, and the aliens drink the blood of the resident rodents by impaling them with a tube that feeds into their helmets. Engrossing body horror elements like this and others make the characters of Hunter / Prey believable as individuals acting out part of a galactic conflict.

    We learn early on that the prisoner is “the last of its kind” and that Earth has been snuffed out for the war-crime of harboring refugees of another race. Lieutenant Oran Jericho, bearded and with piercing grey-blue eyes, is on a vengeance mission to return the genocidal favor. When the treasonous Centauri-7 recaptures him, there’s a dialogue of constant taunts and bluffs as “human” (white) and alien try to assert the moral high ground. The audience is explicitly told that Centauri’s race of Sydonians enslaves or destroys all others races it encounters — “if they don’t accept our way of life, then yes!” There is clearly no room for compromise and no separate peace is possible — unlike the cosmopolitan Cantina of Star WarsHunter / Prey offers a species that is not only savage and stupid, but believes itself completely entitled to wipe out entire worlds that don’t assimilate to Dhimmitude. “It is our way!” yells the indignant alien.

    [4]

    All of this may seem a bit much for the safely neutered soyboys of contemporary geekdom. In order to make it palatable to the Hollywood Left and keep himself employed, Collora has the Amazon Alexa that the soldier Centauri-7 carries sound suspiciously like a coy white woman;  it is too humanized to be properly believable, but this is the future, so I guess an artificial intelligence can have an interracial crush now. They had to cram this crap in somewhere, so Damon Poitier ridiculously schemes with her to off his commanding officer, and calls her “Baby” on more than one occasion. However, in a pleasingly sexist kind of way, she is still just an object (a talking box featuring some lights and a computer chip, actually) and so can easily be repossessed by the white man by the end of the film.

    The end of Hunter / Prey leaves a lot to be desired. Having laid its metapolitical cards on the table as a biologically determinist, racial annihilation tale, Collora and crew clearly could not resolve it. Centauri-7 and Oran part ways, presupposed by the film as moral equivalents, even though this idea has already been completely torpedoed by earlier scenes. Centauri-7 is a weak-minded and impulsive simpleton — he flipflops between being a racial loyalist when it comes to blowing up other peoples, and a racial traitor when his resentment towards his superiors gets the better of him. Unlike the original Planet of the Apes, where the “aliens” were explicitly less intellectually-gifted members of the animal kingdom, Hunter / Prey and all other contemporary sci-fi can only go to the point of showing rather than telling the audience about racial differences. Nonetheless, as Sylax the bounty hunter comments, “Nobody likes Sydonians.”

    Despite its loose ends and at times threadbare content, Hunter / Prey is brisk and entertaining. The previous year, 2009, had seen two major films of the multiculturalized box-office sci-fi genre: District 9 and Avatar, both of which were laden with implausible anti-white tropes. Hunter / Prey is a refreshing contrast in its moral seriousness. As a piece of filmmaking, it’s an outstanding accomplishment that makes use of physical props and attempts to achieve captivating results. Collora comments that “there’s something that’s been lost from the brilliant films of the late ’60s and ’70s in contemporary sci-fi and fantasy, and I want to try and bring that back.” For Star Wars fans looking for fare more like the original Star Wars, this is it. Thematically, it returns sci-fi to where it belongs as a genre: produced by, for, and about white men overcoming the dangers of a threatening universe.

    [5]

    It’s a useful reminder that independent filmmaking need not be constrained by either modern speech rules nor fashions, and that even with a modest sum, creative ambition and determination can produce a work to which the culture at large will respond. Clark Bartram’s Batman, in Collora’s previous eight-minute short, Batman: Dead End, brought a new and believable vision of both the Bat and the Joker to Comic-Con (with Batman donning incredibly fascistic leather gloves to beat up a babbling, narcissistic Joker) which translated in a masterfully comic way to the Bigger (auditorium) Screen, and raised the awareness and hype needed to make Hunter / Prey possible as a movie.

    Hunter / Prey itself, whilst not well-known, definitely pulls the zeitgeist away from superhero flummery and towards a harder and more sincere science fiction of the last man standing — more in keeping with the loving fascist pastiche of Starship Troopers than the present day Kosher-Bosher slop served up to “geekdom” audiences. The excellent “Making Of” feature included with it documents the admirable lengths to which the filmmakers went in order to fulfill Sandy’s creative vision. Hunter / Prey shows what can be achieved with ingenuity and dedication, and there is little more inspiring than intrepid heroism and success against the odds.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • “Guys”
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    [1]

    Graphic by Harold Arthur McNeill

    1,633 words

    “Hi guys!” said the waitress.

    She was speaking to me and my mother. The restaurant was the Olive Garden, and it was in the mid-1990s. I felt affronted on two levels. First, it was far too informal a way to refer to patrons; unforgivably familiar, really. Second, I was not there with one of my “guy” friends at all. I was there with my grey-haired, sixty-something year-old mother. This was the first time I noticed the term “guys” used in this way. Now you can’t get away from it. It’s everywhere – and every time I hear it I cringe.

    I’ve even heard it at the Metropolitan Opera. Once, I was standing in line at the Met with a large number of other people. (It must have been for Wagner, as he tends to attract a big crowd, and I probably would not have been there otherwise.) One of the ushers, a squat, mixed-race looking man with an accent started trying to accelerate the process by saying “Move along, guys!”

    I thought about waving him over and saying “This is the Metropolitan Opera. Not a bus station.” But nowadays you never know how somebody is going to react when you try to correct them. And who am I to correct? We’re all just “guys,” after all. I looked around at the other patrons, all the grey haired gentlemen in sport coats with their grey haired ladies in fox fur who had paid hundreds of dollars to be there. Their heads were slightly bowed. They showed no signs of being affronted by this epsilon semi-moron’s “guys.” But surely they had heard it. Didn’t they care?

    [2]Perhaps they’d just been through the security lines at the airport a few too many times. This is another place where you are likely to get “guyed.” “Take everything out of your pockets, guys!” “Take your laptops out of your bags, guys!” Did you just have a mental picture of a fat, surly black woman in a blue TSA blouse bellowing this? If so, we may have achieved psychic rapport. Those patches on their sleeves say “Department of Homeland Security” (which still sounds to me like something out of a dystopian TV movie about a future Amerika). I look at these women and always think of Sky Marshal Tehat Meru in the film Starship Troopers (who, in turn, always makes me think of Dr. Joycelyn Elders). Doesn’t it make you feel safer to be protected by an elite security force?

    [3]And, as many have pointed out, the real purpose of TSA screening is just to make us feel safer. It’s not likely to stop terrorists determined to hijack a plane. (And anyone with a little imagination can figure out how easy it would be to thwart these security procedures.) Of course there is yet another purpose to the airport security lines, and that is to make us docile and tractable. How? By robbing us of our dignity. By forcing us to queue up and partially disrobe and then submit ourselves to a scanner that reveals more than our ancestors saw on their wedding nights. All set to the tune of “Move along guys. Come on guys. Take off your shoes guys . . .” And sung by the sort of people who four decades ago were scrubbing out your grandma’s toilet.

    “Guys” is all part of that process of reducing us, of leveling everyone down. This is as true of restaurants and American opera houses as it is of the TSA lines. In a way it’s nothing new: it’s a typical American thing. The tendency from the beginning of America has been to level everyone down; to erase distinctions. Conservatives who yearn for a 1950s where people wore ties onto airplanes and still called their co-workers Mister or Miss are just wishing they could live when the rot was less noticeable. America was founded on the rejection of natural distinctions between men. Of course, our Founding Fathers were saner men than those living today. They didn’t really believe that there were no distinctions between people. But all the rhetoric about equality eventually took its toll. The wrong sort of people started to believe it.

    I’m reminded of what D. H. Lawrence says [4] (in Studies in Classic American Literature) about Fenimore Cooper’s novel Homeward Bound. The plot concerns a genteel American family, the Effinghams, who are sailing back to America from their European vacation. On board the ship they meet “the ugly American” incarnate, the vulgar Septimus Dodge, who insists on making their acquaintance. Lawrence writes:

    Now the aristocratic Effinghams, Homeward Bound from Europe to America, are at the mercy of Mr. Dodge: Septimus. He is their compatriot, so they may not disown him. Had they been English, of course, they would never once have let themselves become aware of his existence. But no. They are American democrats, and therefore, if Mr. Dodge marches up and says: “Mr. Effingham? Pleased to meet you, Mr. Effingham” – why, then Mr. Effingham is forced to reply: “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Dodge.” If he didn’t he would have the terrible hounds of democracy on his heels and at his throat, the moment he landed in the Land of the Free. An Englishman is free to continue unaware of the existence of a fellow-countryman, if the looks of that fellow-countryman are distasteful. But every American citizen is free to force his presence upon you, no matter how unwilling you may be.

    Had Fenimore Cooper written this novel today, Septimus Dodge would have marched right up to the Effinghams and said “Hi guys!” And had Mr. Effingham made the mistake of proffering his first name, old Septimus would surely have made immediate use of it.

    Ah, yes: the first name thing. I started noticing this in the 90s also. I would drive up to the teller window at the bank and, after depositing or cashing my check, the guy behind the glass would say “Can I do anything else for you today, Jef?” Or I’d hand my credit card to the clerk at the grocery store who’d swipe it and hand it back with a “Thank you, Jef.” It was as if they were daring me to correct them: “That’s Mr. Costello to you.” I didn’t. Why? Well, I suppose I didn’t want to create resentment in people I deal with regularly. But I suppose part of it, to be completely honest, is that I’m an American too.

    I can’t resist quoting a couple of other lines from Lawrence’s magnificent essay: “What was the persecution of a haughty Lord or a marauding Baron or an inquisitorial Abbot compared to the persecution of a million Dodges?” And:

    When America set out to destroy Kings and Lords and Masters, and the whole paraphernalia of European superiority, it pushed a pin right through its own body, and on that pin it still flaps and buzzes and twists in misery. The pin of democratic equality. Freedom. There’ll never be any life in America till you pull the pin out and admit natural inequality. Natural superiority, natural inferiority. Till such time, Americans just buzz round like various sorts of propellers, pinned down by their freedom and equality.

    After being “guyed” and addressed as “Jef” by strangers countless times, I have begun, for the first time in my life, to long for old age. You see, I imagine that just about the only thing I’ll have to look forward to in old age is speaking my mind to people. Old people can get away with that. I still remember reading about how the old, palsied Katherine Hepburn walked up to some man chewing gum in a bookstore and said “Chew! Chew! Chew! That’s disgusting!” I’d like to be able to do that.

    But a thought nags me. Perhaps by then I’ll be so beaten down I’ll be even meeker than I am now. Like those grey-haired men with their heads bowed, queuing up to be groped by a pock-marked Hispanic TSA screener. And perhaps by then the humiliation and indignities will have become far worse, far harder to take. Lately I keep thinking about all those Russian men who pickled their insides with vodka because life under communism was just a long process of chipping away their self-respect, day after day.

    Heidegger was right about the metaphysical identity of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Both, at root, were founded upon a materialistic metaphysics. And both aimed at achieving a “classless society.” But the Soviets rewarded talent and intelligence. Western art and Western music were kept alive, publically subsidized and protected under Communist regimes. Meanwhile, we were slowly but surely abandoning everything that was noble and beautiful, because “the majority” had other uses for its money. In the end, it was American-style capitalism that was really the great leveler, not Communism. And the great corruptor.

    We have succeeded where the Communists failed, and realized the classless society. Simply put: today we’ve got no class at all. The great Goddess of Democracy has decreed that we all put our pants on one leg at a time, and that we all break wind. Hallelujah! We are delivered from the tyranny of anyone thinking they are better than us. We are all “guys” now (the ladies included).

    Let us look into the sunlit present and gaze upon what we are today, now that the mountains of men have been hewn down so as not to offend the valleys. We are processed meat, marinated in 500 channels, twittered, numbed by Paxil, then pre-sliced and fed into the slavering jaws of the great corporate Moloch. So, queue up guys. Take your shoes off, guys. Empty your pockets, guys.

    HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME.

    HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Counter-Currents 2013 Summer Fundraiser In My Grandiose Moments . . .
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    ozymandias2

    [1]1,650 words

    Since our last update [2], we have received eighteen new donations totaling $890. Our total so far is $18,317.50. Our goal is to raise $50,000 by October 31, so we are $31,702.50 away from our goal. Two of these donations are just the first of monthly pledges, which are a huge help. Again, I want to thank all of our donors for their generous support.

    We have also seen a significant uptick in our Amazon Affiliates commissions. Some of you have bookmarked the link [3]. Thank you for that as well.

    * * *

    Audio Version: [jwplayer file=” ″ streamer=”rtmp://s3cxt7hxkp9tvh.cloudfront.net/cfx/st” provider=”rtmp” duration=”557″]

    One of our readers asked me, ever so gently, if I did not think it a bit grandiose to try to raise $50,000 this year. My answer was simple: compared to our ultimate goals, no, it doesn’t seem grandiose at all . . .

    There is a poetic moment in Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers when Johnny Rico, who has just washed out of the Mobile Infantry, is leaving base. Suddenly, he sees people on the parade ground breaking formation and running. And, perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps out of a kind of herding or schooling instinct, he starts running along with them. “War! We’re going to war!” one of his former comrades shouts.

    The scene beautifully communicates the feeling of being caught up in events, of being a tiny piece of driftwood carried along by the great surge of history. Of course, this is not something that only happens in times of war. Indeed, it happens all the time. It is like gravity, like the air we breathe. It is child’s play to put bubble-headed aliens on screen. It takes a masterful filmmaker to make us experience and wonder at what is utterly close and commonplace.

    All of us, all the time, are subjected to historical forces we cannot control. We are objects, not agents. Things are done to us, not by us. Most of our actions are piddling, reactive, and entirely ineffectual — at least if we try to go against the current. Somebody else establishes the pace, and we try to catch up. Somebody else sinks the ship, and we try to tread water. Somebody else tanks the economy, and we end up bailing them out. Somebody else opened the borders, and we just have to cope with the depressed wages and increased crime, corruption, ugliness, and alienation. That’s life — for most people, most of the time.

    But there are people who exercise power and bear responsibility. The system does not just run itself. What would it be like to be a historical agent, not just one of their pawns? What would it be like to be the master of one’s own destiny, rather than a plaything of the powerful? What would it be like to live in a system that advances our individual and group interests rather than subordinates and sacrifices them? What would be like to belong to a people that has a sense of destiny — and is in control of how that destiny unfolds?

    The purpose of White Nationalism is for whites to regain control of our destiny as a race, to make us collectively masters of our own fate. We are not egalitarians. We are not individualists. We understand that our powers and responsibilities differ. We understand that not everyone can exercise agency all the time. But our goal is to create a system in which the few govern in the interests of all, in which the limited agency of each individual is amplified rather than smothered by the social order.

    It seems like a tall order. But such systems are not utopias. We know they are possible, because they have been actual. They have existed in history. They even exist in the present day in the Far East. We can, of course, improve upon them. But the blueprints already exist. The real question is: How do we get there from here? A related question is: How can one experience, in the present day, the world we are trying to create in the future? Because some of us will never live to see the Promised Land.

    Both questions have the same answer: by acting to bring about a White Nationalist society, by participating in the White Nationalist cause in whatever way possible, to whatever extent possible, we can create an ideal world and have a taste of it in the present day.

    I am fond of the phrase that those who fight for the Golden Age live in it today. I do not mean this in a merely symbolic sense. It is a very real phenomenon: the world we are fighting for is one in which whites are masters of our fate, in which we have control of our destiny, in which we are agents not objects of history. Acting to create that world is taking control of your own destiny and working for the freedom of our people. Each white who moves from being a passive spectator to being an active agent of our cause brings us one step closer to victory. Working to create a White Nationalist society is to participate in some way in the society we wish to create.

    But what is to be done?

    Counter-Currents has always stood for pluralism. There is not “one right way [4]” to do this. I have consistently argued that our movement will function best if we (1) try new approaches, (2) seek to tailor our message to every different white constituency, and (3) allow each individual to determine his own level of explicitness and involvement.

    But, by the same token, I am always encouraging people to become more explicit and more involved, to get people outside their comfort zones, to become more radical, and not just in the sense of understanding things to their roots, but in the sense of being increasingly active, committed, and fanatical.

    The best thing is to be an explicit White Nationalist [5]. We need a lot more of them.

    The next best thing is to be a secret agent [6], working actively within the system to undermine it.

    The next best thing after that is to actively support those who are willing to do more than you.

    If you are not willing to do any of those things, then please, at least do no harm [7].

    But, for the love of everything good and beautiful in this world, you have to stop being passive consumers of free information on the internet, or mere kibitzers on online forums. That was the beginning for most of us, but it is only the beginning, and if it is the end of your involvement, then our race is going to die.

    One of the secrets of Communism [8] is that it mobilized enormous energy and dedication from people because its goals demanded them. They promised themselves the world, and they went about delivering it.

    Although manic grandiosity and malignant narcissism are the two more destructive personality disorders in our circles, we have to risk grandiosity. We have to put aside our humility, put aside our modesty, and entertain the possibility that we can become world-historical individuals: that we can change the course of history, that we can save our race, that we can turn it from the path to extinction and return it to the path of godhood.

    And it is not just about saving the white race. It is about saving all life on earth — the only life in the cosmos as far as we know — because if our enemies win, this blue planet will someday be reduced to a dead cinder in space. You can save all the other endangered species by saving the most important one, our own.

    Yes, this cause is that important, and by moving our cause forward, you share in that importance. If your life lacks meaning and purpose, this is where you find them.

    There have been times when I wished that I had never gotten involved with White Nationalism. I tend to focus on the negative and forget about the positive. Sometimes I brood over the fact that the craziest, crookedest, most loathsome people I have ever encountered have been White Nationalists — forgetting that the finest people I know are White Nationalists as well.

    My complaining finally angered a good friend, a secret agent who does as much as he can for the cause. He told me that I lead an enviable life, that I work full time for the most important cause in the cosmos, that I can speak the truth as I see it for the rest of my days. Then he reminded me of the basic premise of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy has super-powers and is part of a secret initiatic society doing battle with the forces of evil. Night after night, she is literally saving the world. And yet . . . all she wants to be is an ordinary high school cheerleader.

    Well, when you put it that way, I choose to fight evil and save the world. Allow yourself a grandiose moment, and then choose to join us.

    * * *

    Now back to our regularly scheduled fundraiser. You can make two different types of donations:

    • First, you can make is a single donation of any size.
    • Second, you can make a recurring donation of any size.

    Recurring donations are particularly helpful, since they allow us better to predict and plan for the future. We have added several new levels for recurring donations. Please visit our Donations [9] page for more information.

    We can also customize the amount of a monthly donation.

    There are several ways to make one-time donations:

    • The easiest is through Paypal. For a one-time donation, just use the following button:
    • You can send check, money order, or credit card payment by mail. Just print out our donation form in Word [10] or PDF [11].
    • You can make a secure credit card donation direct from our Donation [9] page.

    Please give generously!

    Thank you for your loyal readership and support.

    Greg Johnson
    Editor-in-Chief
    Counter-Currents Publishing, Ltd.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Counter-Currents 2014 Summer Fundraiser In My Grandiose Moments . . .
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]1,699 words

    Since yesterday’s update [2] on our Summer Fundraiser, we have received donations totaling $450. Our total is now $37,387. We are now $2,613 from our goal of $40,000 with just 2 days to go. Again, I want to thank all of our donors for your generous support.

    * * *

    A reader suggested that I reprint last year’s fundraiser “In My Grandiose Moments . . .” I wrote back, “What are you talking about?” Then she sent me a link to the piece below, which I had completely forgotten. I am too young for Alzheimers, so I attribute this senior moment to frequently having too much on my mind. Not all of it gets filed into long-term memory. In any case, I think it bears reprinting. If it is new to me, surely it will be new to most of you as well.

    Audio Version: [jwplayer file=”″ streamer=”rtmp://s3cxt7hxkp9tvh.cloudfront.net/cfx/st” provider=”rtmp” duration=”557″]

    One of our readers asked me, ever so gently, if I did not think it a bit grandiose to try to raise $40,000 this year. My answer was simple: compared to our ultimate goals, no, it doesn’t seem grandiose at all . . .

    There is a poetic moment in Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers when Johnny Rico, who has just washed out of the Mobile Infantry, is leaving base. Suddenly, he sees people on the parade ground breaking formation and running. And, perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps out of a kind of herding or schooling instinct, he starts running along with them. “War! We’re going to war!” one of his former comrades shouts.

    The scene beautifully communicates the feeling of being caught up in events, of being a tiny piece of driftwood carried along by the great surge of history. Of course, this is not something that only happens in times of war. Indeed, it happens all the time. It is like gravity, like the air we breathe. It is child’s play to put bubble-headed aliens on screen. It takes a masterful filmmaker to make us experience and wonder at what is utterly close and commonplace.

    All of us, all the time, are subjected to historical forces we cannot control. We are objects, not agents. Things are done to us, not by us. Most of our actions are piddling, reactive, and entirely ineffectual — at least if we try to go against the current. Somebody else establishes the pace, and we try to catch up. Somebody else sinks the ship, and we try to tread water. Somebody else tanks the economy, and we end up bailing them out. Somebody else opened the borders, and we just have to cope with the depressed wages and increased crime, corruption, ugliness, and alienation. That’s life — for most people, most of the time.

    But there are people who exercise power and bear responsibility. The system does not just run itself. What would it be like to be a historical agent, not just one of their pawns? What would it be like to be the master of one’s own destiny, rather than a plaything of the powerful? What would it be like to live in a system that advances our individual and group interests rather than subordinates and sacrifices them? What would be like to belong to a people that has a sense of destiny — and is in control of how that destiny unfolds?

    The purpose of White Nationalism is for whites to regain control of our destiny as a race, to make us collectively masters of our own fate. We are not egalitarians. We are not individualists. We understand that our powers and responsibilities differ. We understand that not everyone can exercise agency all the time. But our goal is to create a system in which the few govern in the interests of all, in which the limited agency of each individual is amplified rather than smothered by the social order.

    It seems like a tall order. But such systems are not utopias. We know they are possible, because they have been actual. They have existed in history. They even exist in the present day in the Far East. We can, of course, improve upon them. But the blueprints already exist. The real question is: How do we get there from here? A related question is: How can one experience, in the present day, the world we are trying to create in the future? Because some of us will never live to see the Promised Land.

    Both questions have the same answer: by acting to bring about a White Nationalist society, by participating in the White Nationalist cause in whatever way possible, to whatever extent possible, we can create an ideal world and have a taste of it in the present day.

    I am fond of the phrase that those who fight for the Golden Age live in it today. I do not mean this in a merely symbolic sense. It is a very real phenomenon: the world we are fighting for is one in which whites are masters of our fate, in which we have control of our destiny, in which we are agents not objects of history. Acting to create that world is taking control of your own destiny and working for the freedom of our people. Each white who moves from being a passive spectator to being an active agent of our cause brings us one step closer to victory. Working to create a White Nationalist society is to participate in some way in the society we wish to create.

    But what is to be done?

    Counter-Currents has always stood for pluralism. There is not “one right way [3]” to do this. I have consistently argued that our movement will function best if we (1) try new approaches, (2) seek to tailor our message to every different white constituency, and (3) allow each individual to determine his own level of explicitness and involvement.

    But, by the same token, I am always encouraging people to become more explicit and more involved, to get people outside their comfort zones, to become more radical, and not just in the sense of understanding things to their roots, but in the sense of being increasingly active, committed, and fanatical.

    The best thing is to be an explicit White Nationalist [4]. We need a lot more of them.

    The next best thing is to be a secret agent [5], working actively within the system to undermine it.

    The next best thing after that is to actively support those who are willing to do more than you.

    If you are not willing to do any of those things, then please, at least do no harm [6].

    But, for the love of everything good and beautiful in this world, you have to stop being passive consumers of free information on the internet, or mere kibitzers on online forums. That was the beginning for most of us, but it is only the beginning, and if it is the end of your involvement, then our race is going to die.

    One of the secrets of Communism [7] is that it mobilized enormous energy and dedication from people because its goals demanded them. They promised themselves the world, and they went about delivering it.

    Although manic grandiosity and malignant narcissism are the two more destructive personality disorders in our circles, we have to risk grandiosity. We have to put aside our humility, put aside our modesty, and entertain the possibility that we can become world-historical individuals: that we can change the course of history, that we can save our race, that we can turn it from the path to extinction and return it to the path of godhood.

    And it is not just about saving the white race. It is about saving all life on earth — the only life in the cosmos as far as we know — because if our enemies win, this blue planet will someday be reduced to a dead cinder in space. You can save all the other endangered species by saving the most important one, our own.

    Yes, this cause is that important, and by moving our cause forward, you share in that importance. If your life lacks meaning and purpose, this is where you find them.

    There have been times when I wished that I had never gotten involved with White Nationalism. I tend to focus on the negative and forget about the positive. Sometimes I brood over the fact that the craziest, crookedest, most loathsome people I have ever encountered have been White Nationalists — forgetting that the finest people I know are White Nationalists as well.

    My complaining finally angered a good friend, a secret agent who does as much as he can for the cause. He told me that I lead an enviable life, that I work full time for the most important cause in the cosmos, that I can speak the truth as I see it for the rest of my days. Then he reminded me of the basic premise of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy has super-powers and is part of a secret initiatic society doing battle with the forces of evil. Night after night, she is literally saving the world. And yet . . . all she wants to be is an ordinary high school cheerleader.

    Well, when you put it that way, I choose to fight evil and save the world. Allow yourself a grandiose moment, and then choose to join us.

    * * *

    If you have not made a donation to our Summer fundraiser yet, now is a good time. You can make two different types of donations:

    • A single donation of any size.
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    Recurring donations are particularly helpful, since they allow us better to predict and plan for the future. We have several levels for recurring donations. Please visit our Donations [8] page for more information.

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    Thank you for your loyal readership and support.

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  • The Sad, Sour Spook: Max Stirner & His Proper Ties, Part I
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    3,753 words [1]

    Part 1 of 2. Part 2 here [2].

    The Unique and Its Property by Max Stirner
    Translated with a new introduction by Wolfi Landstreicher
    Underworld Amusements, 2017

    John Daggett: I paid you a small fortune.
    Bane: And this gives you power over me?
    The Dark Knight Rises (Nolan, 2012)

    Another week, another witch-hunt. This time, the protectors of ideological purity are defending the escutcheon of Max Stirner from supposed besmirchment. If that doesn’t even more sound absurd and hypocritical than usual[1] [3], read on!

    These periodical transformations of soi-disant rationalists and “enlightened” folk into reincarnations of the Witchfinders General[2] [4] (or more likely, Witchsmellers Pursuivant[3] [5]) have always reminded me of Thomas Mann’s Dr. Faustus, whose major theme is the many ways in which pure rationality leads to barbarism and even diabolism.

    In an early chapter — set, appropriately, in a theological college — the protagonist and narrator are invited to dinner at the home of a favorite professor, one Dr. Kumpf. Kumpf is sort of a Teutonic Ned Flanders, who flaunts his proto-Barth fideism[4] [6] in the form of a compulsive and relentlessly cheerful Lutheran Gemutlichkeit worthy of those who know they are saved — or hope they are. Beer, good German home cooking, be-dirndled daughters, folk songs… it’s quite grueling. Could it get more embarrassing? “It had to happen, and it did…”

    “Behold!” he cried. “There in the corner, the Mocker, the Killjoy, the sad, sour, spook, and will not suffer our hearts to rejoice in God with meat and song! But he shall not have the better of us, the Archvillain, with his sly, fiery darts! Apage!” he thundered, grabbed a hard roll, and hurled it into the corner.[5] [7]

    Herr Prof. Dr. Kumpf’s hard roll came to mind again as a Facebook post alerted me to Keith Preston’s blog post about the latest kerfuffle about Max Stirner’s “ties to the Nazis.” (Lastest? We’ll get to that in a sec’).

    Preston summarizes it in his book review thus:

    Underworld Amusements [8] is owned by Kevin Slaughter,[6] [9] a man who has been attacked as an OFFICIAL BAD PERSON by leftist critics of [translator Wolfi] Landstreicher’s work. … Landstreicher has been accused of some great moral failure for allowing an alleged OFFICIAL BAD PERSON to publish this translation. A screed titled “Wolfi and White Supremacy: What Happened and What It Means” was originally posted on the TheConjureHouse.Com website. The post was a stereotypical “fascist creep” screed, authored by a “Dr. Bones” individual whose online avatar features an emaciated-looking young man with a hammer and sickle scarf masking his face. [7] [10]

    As it happens, I would not have known about the book itself (or that Kevin Slaughter even had a publishing house) at all had the outrage not led to Preston’s post, so as per usual, good job, SJWs!

    About the book, the publisher writes:

    Max Stirner’s opus was first published in Germany in 1844. In 1907 Benjamin R. Tucker published the first English-language translation of Der Einzige und sein Eigentum, carried out by Steven T. Byington and titled The Ego and His Own. Every edition of Stirner’s book since that time has been a reproduction or revision of the Byington translation—until now.

    You’d think these Antifa creeps would be grateful.

    And about Stirner, Preston writes elsewhere:

    The individual in question was a dissolute figure who wrote under the curious pseudonym of Max Stirner.

    Stirner was born as Johan Caspar Schmidt on October 25, 1806, into a lower middle class German household of a Lutheran religious affiliation. Stirner’s father died when he was only six months old, and Stirner was consequently raised by his mother, and later by his aunt after his mother remarried. His mother appears to have been plagued by mental illness, and it is interesting to considering what psychological effects having been raised without a father and by an unstable mother might have had on Stirner.

    Stirner never expressed anything other than contempt for bourgeois norms in either his philosophy or, ultimately, in his private life. His two marriages seem to have likely been for the sake of convenience, most probably financially motivated, and Max Stirner was largely responsible for squandering the inheritance of Marie, his second wife.[8] [11] Much of his later life was spent dodging debt collectors, and Stirner spent two stints in debtors’ prison before he eventually died in 1856 at the age of forty-nine. His cause of death has been traditionally attributed to an illness that was developed after a poisonous insect bite.[9] [12]

    In short, a typical Millennial; perhaps a typical alt-Righter.

    But the point is, Stirner can’t really be reduced to any definite figure; he devoted his work to freeing his readers from what he saw as dogmas, fixed ideas (as in OCD) or most typically what he called “spooks;” in short, bats in the belfry.[10] [13] It’s crucial to understand that these included both God and Man (the God-substitute of the “pious atheist”), religion and secularism, etc.[11] [14]

    Yet such is Man, that from the start people have read their own—fixed — ideas into Stirner, and jealously claimed him as their champion. As Preston says:

    When the Byington translation was issued over a century ago, Tucker said of the work, “Some call it The Anarchists’ Bible, others call it The Billionaires’ Bible.” But that’s clearly the point. The egoist philosophy advanced by Stirner contains no ideological, let alone moral, prescription. Stirner’s ideas are just as applicable to the predatory billionaire capitalist (see the current US President [15]) as they are to revolutionary anarchist assassins. A consistent application of Stirner’s philosophy would simply involve going about the business of pursuing one’s interests while giving no thought to either prescribed notions of virtue or to societal interests. [12] [16]

    Of course, “pursuing one’s interests while giving no thought to either prescribed notions of virtue or to societal interests” is exactly not the SJW M.O., even when claiming to rally ‘round the drapeau noir.

    Stirner was driving people nuts right from the start.

    Marx famously claimed to have found Hegel standing on his head, and to have set him right-side up; in other words, he re-inverted Hegel’s already inverted idealist dialectic and made material reality the basis of ideas.

    Stirner, by contrast, picked Hegel up and held him over his head, spun him around, and then pile-drived him into the mat; a philosophical Hulk Hogan.

    Stirner’s magnum opus is a kind of parody of Hegelianism, if not exactly Hegel[13] [17]. But in fact he spends most of his time using his dialectic to torment Hegel’s epigones, first Feuerbach and then, at much greater length, the Whole Sick Crew of (mid-nineteenth century Euro-)socialism.

    Marx was as well and truly gaslit[14] [18], a kind of nineteenth century Hillary besieged by this, this — cartoon frog of a philosopher[15] [19], and responded with an epic flame war, devoting most of his massive work, The German Ideology, to a figure he mocked as”St. Max.” [16] [20] Finding that there were no blogs to post it, Marx put it away in a drawer, not discovered again until 1932, when Stalin exhumed it and made it mandatory reading.

    Striner, like Nagarjuna or Chuang Tzu, uses the Hegelian dialectic as tool to expose the absurdity of all social, political, philosophical ideas, in order to free the minds of his readers.

    Have you philosophers really no clue that you have been beaten with your own weapons? Only one clue. What can your common-sense reply when I dissolve dialectically what you have merely posited dialectically? You have showed me with what kind of ‘volubility’ one can turn everything to nothing and nothing to everything, black into white and white into black. What do you have against me, when I return to you your pure art?[17] [21]

    One ancillary result is the discovery that zealots have more in common than they might like to think:

    The zealots for some sacred thing often don’t look very much like each other. How the strict Orthodox or Old Believers differ from the … Rationalists, etc. And yet how utterly unessential this difference is! If one calls single traditional truths (for example, miracles, the absolute princely power, etc.) into question, the Rationalists also call them into question, and only the Old Believers wail. But if one calls truth itself into question, he immediately has both, as believers, for opponents. (Ego, p64-65)

    Perhaps because most of us non-Stirners tend to think in such binary terms, everyone seems to miss the message and instead reads Stirner as advocating some position or other.

    Wikipedia provides a handy list of “thinkers have read and been affected by The Ego and Its Own in their youth,” such as:

    Rudolf Steiner, Gustav Landauer, Victor Serge, Carl Schmitt and Jürgen Habermas. Few openly admit any influence on their own thinking. Ernst Jünger’s book Eumeswil, had the character of the “Anarch”, based on Stirner’s “Einzige.” Several other authors, philosophers and artists have cited, quoted or otherwise referred to Max Stirner. They include Albert Camus in The Rebel (the section on Stirner is omitted from the majority of English editions including Penguin’s), Benjamin Tucker, James Huneker, Dora Marsden, Renzo Novatore, Emma Goldman, Georg Brandes, John Cowper Powys, Martin Buber, Sidney Hook, Robert Anton Wilson, Horst Matthai, Frank Brand, Marcel Duchamp, several writers of the Situationist International including Raoul Vaneigem, and Max Ernst. Years before rising to power, Benito Mussolini was inspired by Stirner, and made several references to him in his newspaper articles. The similarities in style between The Ego and Its Own and Oscar Wilde’s The Soul of Man Under Socialism have caused some historians to speculate that Wilde (who could read German) was familiar with the book.

    Not mentioned, as per usual, is Julius Evola, although he for one was willing to “openly admit … influence on [his] own thinking” in his youth, along with — Oscar Wilde.[18] [22]

    Surely any book “influencing” this motley crew is more like a Rorschach test than a treatise;[19] [23] this is what happens when, as Zen says, you mistake the pointing finger for the moon.

    Needless to say, the modern Hitler cult has had its innings as well. And therein lies a tale.

    I first encountered Max Stirner in John Carroll’s Break-Out from the Crystal Palace: The Anarcho-Psychological Critique; Stirner, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky.[20] [24] I can’t recall any particular reason for picking up the book, much less reading it – it’s slim enough though the prose is of academic opacity – other than an interest in Nietzsche that dated back to Kubrick’s 2001.[21] [25]

    So I was prepared to take notice when, at a table of new releases displayed by Harper & Row at an academic philosophy convention, I spotted Carroll’s edition of The Ego. [22] [26]

    Of course, it would have been hard not to notice it; it was clad, like an SS Sturmbannführer,[23] [27] in the severe black and white covers[24] [28] of typically Hitler-obsessed Judaic academic George Steiner’s “Roots of the Right: Readings in Fascist, Racist and Elitism Ideology.” These “black books,” as Steiner calls them,[25] [29] are intended to supply the eager student with “source-readings” to explain, if possible, the seventy million “dead through war, revolution and famine in Europe and Russia between 1914 and 1945,” and the “return to barbarism, torture and mass extermination in the heartlands of civilized life.”[26] [30]

    Of course, there are a couple of obvious problems here. First, a considerable amount of said “war, revolution and famine … barbarism, torture and mass extermination” was at the hands of the Communists, who don’t seem to figure in this series. Secondly, and more importantly here, what the Hell does Stirner have to do with this?

    Well, not much at all. Carroll brings the same academic trash compactor to work on Stirner as he would later on Stirner, Nietzsche and Dostoevsky to force them all into the “anarcho-psychological” mold; here, Stirner is simply a Fascist malgre lui and avant le lettre.

    It’s a stupid argument, and a reviewer at Amazon [31], one “Einzige,” deals with it adequately for our purposes:

    Pointing out that Stirner’s preferred method of social change is insurrection and self-liberation—as opposed to the political action and violence preferred by the left—Carroll, in his introduction, asserts, “Stirner has by default Rightist tendencies.” Furthermore, that Marxists, therefore, have the “right” to make the argument favored by demagogues and ideologues throughout history: “He who is not with us is against us.” (page 13)

    What such an argument reveals, without even meaning to, is the fundamental inadequacy of the right-left spectrum. Carroll can sense this (on page 16, for example, he says “Stirner is one of the men who defy political classification; the orthodox categories break down.”), but he apparently doesn’t have the ability to break free of it. It would seem that, to him, our only choices are the dictatorship of the proletariat on the left hand, or the dictatorship of the total state on the right. The autonomy of the individual is out of the question. It takes the one-dimensional thinking of an authoritarian Hegelian to posit such a false dichotomy, as if fascism and socialism were our only options.

    Carroll then tries to tie Stirner to Italian Fascism with a couple of vague, inconsequential quotes from Mussolini: “And these summits of the spirit are called Stirner, Nietzsche…” (page 13); “Leave the way free for the elemental power of the individual…Why shouldn’t Stirner become significant again?” (page 14). That’s all Carroll has in support of his thesis that Stirner had an influence on Fascist Italy???

    Next, Carroll draws some vaporous connections between Stirner and Nazism. Afterwards he admits that Hitler probably never heard of Stirner. Once again, though, he neglects to discuss the much stronger Marxist influence on Nazism. For example, Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, wrote “The National Socialist movement has one single master: Marxism.” Hitler himself is purported to have said, “The whole of National Socialism is based on Marx.” Oops, another of Carroll’s arguments goes up in smoke!

    Carroll’s attack on Stirner does end with the admission “that the case for including Stirner in `the roots of the Right’ is not watertight.” My question, then, is: Why publish the book? Carroll’s answer appears to be that “many of [Stirner’s] themes form a vital component of fascist ideology.” However, as I pointed out above, a much stronger case (dare I say “watertight”?) can be made that Marxism, rather than individualism and egoism, is THE vital component of Fascism.[27] [32]

    “Why publish the book” indeed. I imagine Carroll either, knee-deep in his Crystal Palace book, jumping at a chance to metamorphose some of it in a book published by a major house and under the auspices of a famous academic, an excellent way to get word of mouth going for the real book later. Or inversely, perhaps Carroll, like Jim Dixon in Lucky Jim, was dragooned into this piece of make-work in order to curry favor with said famous academic.[28] [33] Who knows?

    Notes

    [1] [34] “Liberals believe that we should all love one another, and hate those who don’t.” Fred Reed, “Social Justice Warriors and Bubonic Plague:Is There a Difference?” Fred on Everything, March 30, 2017, here [35].

    [2] [36]Witchfinder General is a 1968 British horror film directed by Michael Reeves and starring Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, and Hilary Dwyer. The screenplay was by Reeves and Tom Baker based on Ronald Bassett’s novel of the same name. Made on a low budget of under £100,000, the movie was co-produced by Tigon British Film Productions and American International Pictures. The story details the heavily fictionalised murderous witch-hunting exploits of Matthew Hopkins, a 17th-century English lawyer who claimed to have been appointed as a “Witch Finder Generall” by Parliament during the English Civil War to root out sorcery and witchcraft. The film was retitled The Conqueror Worm in the United States in an attempt to link it with Roger Corman’s earlier series of Edgar Allan Poe–related films starring Price—although this movie has nothing to do with any of Poe’s stories, and only briefly alludes to his poem.” Wikipedia, here [37].

    [3] [38] “’Witchsmeller Pursuivant’ is the fifth episode of the first series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder (The Black Adder). It is set in England in the late 15th century and centres on the fictitious Prince Edmund, who finds himself falsely accused of witchcraft by a travelling witch hunter known as the Witchsmeller Pursuivant. The story satirises mediaeval superstition and religious belief.” Wikipedia, here [39].

    [4] [40] Mann says he had reversed Descartes, moving from the frailty of reason to the necessity of revelation; a reversal that would have amused Stirner, as we’ll see.

    [5] [41]Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn as Told by a Friend; trans. by John E. Woods (New York: Knopf, 1999), p108. Stirner alludes to Luther’s legendary vulgarity in The Unique, p99; a few pages later he also agrees with Mann’s narrator that “it is only as theology that philosophy can actually realize itself, complete itself.” P.103. Stirner discusses Luther and Descartes (pp99ff.); it could have been worse: Landstreicher mentions in his notes that Luther once set the Devil running with a mighty fart.

    [6] [42] In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that although I have never met, spoken with or emailed Kevin Slaughter, he has designed the covers of all four of my Counter-Currents books, and they are quite lovely, are they not?

    [7] [43] “A Little Less Piousness, Please,” Attack the System, July 24, 2017, here [44].

    [8] [45] I must say this is somewhat unfair; Stirner and the rest of his drinking buddies invested heavily in a scheme to set up a milk delivery system in Berlin, which went teats up. He’s more like your cousin Eddie with his get-rich-quick schemes than a spendthrift or wastrel. See John Carroll (ed), The Ego and His Own (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), pp23-4.

    [9] [46] “The Dissolute Life of an Egoist,” Attack the System, March 30, 2017, here [47].

    [10] [48] Not that he cared one way or another; it simply amused him to point this out.

    [11] [49] As Nietzsche later said, the Englishman wanted to get rid of God but keep Christian morality.

    [12] [50] Preston, loc. cit.

    [13] [51] “As with so many other young intellectuals of his generation, it was Hegel who would clearly become the most important influence on Stirner’s later thought as Stirner’s egoism is essentially a negation of the Hegelian view of the supremacy of spirit.” Preston, loc. cit.

    [14] [52] “’St. Max’ is the work of a mind under stress.” John Carroll, introduction to The Ego and Its Own, p14. We’ll soon see Prof. Carroll under stress as well. “According to Lawrence Stepelevich, even Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ extremely sympathetic biographer Franz Mehring, called [it] “an oddly schoolboyish polemic.” (“Feuerbach and the Young Hegelians,” published in Simon Critchley, A Companion to Continental Philosophy, p. 112); quoted by Jason McQuinn, here [53].

    [15] [54] The flies had their revenge; Stirner died at 49, from an infected insect bite.

    [16] [55] Trust me, it’s not any funnier in German.

    [17] [56] Max Stirner,The Philosophical Reactionaries: The Modern Sophists by Kuno Fischer”, reprinted in Newman, Saul (ed.), Max Stirner (Critical Explorations in Contemporary Political Thought), Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, p99.

    [18] [57] See his autobiography, The Path of Cinnabar: An Intellectual Autobiography; translated by Sergio Knipe (London: Artkos Media, 2009).

    [19] [58] Rorschach of Watchmen is a classic example of someone with bats in the belfry, as is Ozymandias; only the Comedian and, to an extent, Dr. Manhattan, get it: as the Comedian says, “It’s all a joke.”

    [20] [59] London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974.

    [21] [60] That is, to Jerome Agel’s The Making of Kubrick’s 2001 (Signet, 1970); not to be confused with The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stephanie Schwam and Jay Cocks (New York: Modern Library Movies, 2000) nor The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ by Piers Bizony and M/M (Paris: Taschen, 2015).

    [22] [61] Wikipedia, in the “publications history” of The Ego, says [62]: “An abridged English edition of the Byington translation revised, selected and annotated by John Carroll. New York City / London: Harper & Row 1971. 266 pp. The book appeared in a series “Roots of the Right. Readings in Fascist, Racist and Elitist Ideology”, together with writings by Gobineau, Alfred Rosenberg, de Maistre, Maurras. The text consists of a mix of about a hundred quotations from The Ego (and some from Stirner’s minor writings), reducing the volume by about a half. The reason why Stirner’s work was selected for this series remains unclear [as we’ll see] given the book’s fierce anti-authoritarianism and emphasis on the sovereignty of the individual.” I’ve discovered, again thanks to the SJWs, that Underworld Amusements is selling some 45 “uncirculated” copies of this edition online, here [63].

    [23] [64] Or Neil Patrick Harris in Starship Troopers, aka “Doogie Howser Joins the SS.”

    [24] [65] Severe, yet “startlingly erotic,” as Crow T. Robot notes regarding the “Miss Prim and Proper” speaker in the short instructional film “Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance” which opens Mystery Science Theater’s episode 619: Red Zone Cuba.

    [25] [66] Not to be confused, I guess, with the BritCom Black Books, created by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan and broadcast on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2004.

    [26] [67] I always imagine his saying this in the voice of Mr. Kently (Cecil Hardwicke) in Hitchcock’s Rope (1948) as he takes Brandon to task for his supposed “contempt, if I may say so, for that I think civilized”. The gay killers are usually supposed to have absorbed Nietzsche’s ideas through their schoolmaster, Rupert Cadell (James Stewart) but their views sound just as much like Stirner, whose hidden influence on Nietzsche has often been debated.

    [27] [68] A contemporary reviewer, Sidney E. Parker, adds: “The rest of Mr. Carroll’s examples are little more than unsupported insinuations. For instance, when Stirner argues that it is not enough for the press to be free, that it must become his own, and concluded “writing is free only when it is my own, dictated to me by no power or authority, by no faith, no dread: the press must not be free—that is too little—it must be mine—ownness of the press or property in the press, that is what I will take”—Mr. Carroll notes that this is “an anticipation of…fascist attitudes to the press”! Such an assertion is frankly absurd. No fascist favours uncontrolled individual ownership of the press, nor believes in the freedom of the writer from authority.” See “Anarchism, Angst, and Max Stirner,” here [69].

    [28] [70] Welch (Steiner) to Dixon (Carroll): “I thought something like ‘Merrie England’ might do as a subject. Not too academic, and not too… not too… Do you think you could get something together along those sort of lines?” Remarkably, the “front flap copy” for the Carroll book calls it “a new look at this strangely neglected thinker,” which is almost verbatim the opening of the tedious article Dixon writes to get tenure: “’In considering this strangely neglected topic,’ it began. This what neglected topic? This strangely what topic? This strangely neglected what? His thinking all this without having defiled and set fire to the typescript only made him appear to himself as more of a hypocrite and fool.” Lucky Jim (New York Review Books, 2012), pp. 11, 9.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Pulp Puppies & Competent Men: John W. Campbell, Jr. & the Supermen of Science Fiction
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]9,259 words

    Alec Nevala-Lee
    Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction
    New York: Dey Street Books, 2018

    “We seek nothing less than a Campbellian revolution in genre literature.” — Vox Day[1] [2]

     “The Campbell that influenced me was John W., not Joseph.” — George R. R. Martin

    Alec Nevala-Lee, an Asian-American science fiction writer,[2] [3] has here written something remarkable: an intentionally PC multi-biography that nevertheless manages to be well-informed and informative, well-written and compulsively readable.

    It’s the first substantive biography of John W. Campbell, Jr., the man – or, as we’ll see, some would insist on “the white male” – who basically invented modern science fiction; and that last point means that to do so properly, we have to take into account the three men – yes, again, white males – whose writing careers he promoted in order to do it.

    It’s an index of Campbell’s importance that, although I am not really a science fiction fan – certainly not to the level of the fanatical creeps[3] [4] that slip in and out of these pages – I could recognize almost every work referred to, and had indeed read most of them; and I bet you have, too.

    Campbell started off with a bang, writing “Who Goes There?” in the August 1939 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, later filmed as The Thing [5] (1982), The Thing from Another World [6] (1951), and again, not so well, as The Thing [7] (2011).[4] [8] Next, almost by accident, he became the editor of Astounding, and in the decades to come he would find young authors, eager to break into the big time, and feed them his ideas for stories. Even as his career wound down, and the magazine slipped from its dominant position, he was still able to snap up Frank Herbert’s serial “Dune World.”[5] [9]

    Reversing the usual role of the Jewish guru,[6] [10] when Campbell met a pimply, bespectacled, socially retarded Russian Jew from Brooklyn – Isaac Asimov – he “took him on as an experiment to develop a writer from scratch, feeding him the premise for his landmark story ‘Nightfall,’[7] [11] the psychohistory of the Foundation series,[8] [12] and the revolutionary Three Laws of Robotics.”[9] [13]

    By contrast, Robert Heinlein was an established talent; “Campbell’s primary contribution was to recognize it . . . He was everything that Campbell had ever wanted in a writer, and Heinlein seized the chance to express his ideas in a form that could reach a vast readership . . . they fed off each other’s obsessions.” After breaking away from Campbell, he would go on to write Starship Troopers,[10] [14]Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, among many others.

    L. Ron Hubbard was also already a successful pulp writer, but had no interest in science fiction; instead, Campbell “became the enthusiastic promoter and editor” of a book you may have heard of: Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

    According to Lee, all four had “profound similarities”:

    All were gifted children who endured professional or academic setbacks in their early twenties. Each remarried at a hinge point in his career, leaving the wife who had supported him at his most vulnerable for another as soon as he was ready to enter a new phase. [Typical white males!]

    But above all:

    All were generalists who saw science fiction as an educational tool – although to radically different ends. And they all embodied Campbell’s conviction, which he never abandoned, that science fiction could change lives.

    Science fiction was a key tool, because “most fans discover the genre at a young age”:

    It offers fantasies of escape and control; it can be enjoyed by children or teenagers who might be intellectually precocious but emotionally inexperienced; and it tends to catch them at a moment when they are uniquely receptive to new ideas. As one fan famously observed, “The real golden age of science fiction is twelve.”

    To this could be added the twin blows of the Great Depression, which limited opportunities for all, and the looming threat of being swept up in the Second World War. Science fiction provided a broader vision, making it seem that things were still “worth it” and “their lives had value.” The shock of the atomic bomb – Campbell was happy to encourage the idea that science fiction had some role in predicting, if not creating, it – gave Campbell’s literary enterprise a new focus and intensity: to save the world.

    And the results of Campbell’s experiment are impressive, and not only due to my own nodding familiarity with the products of his writers.

    In 1963, Asimov estimated that half of all creative scientists were interested in science fiction, and he acknowledged that this was probably an understatement.

    Public figures of all political persuasions – from Paul Krugman to Elon Musk to Newt Gingrich – have confessed to being influenced by its stories.

    Campbell and his writers were creating nothing less than a shared vision of the future, which inevitably informs how we approach the present. . . . When we propose technological fixes for climate change, or place our hopes in the good intentions of a few visionary billionaires,[11] [15] we unconsciously endorse a view of the world straight out of the pages of Astounding.

    His ultimate goal was to turn his writers and readers into a new kind of human being, exemplified by “the Competent Man [16],”[12] [17] who would lead in turn to the superman . . . a being of superior intellect [18] who would emerge, perhaps by mutation, from within the human race.

    Here’s where Lee begins to push back: “[the] very name points to the way in which science fiction enforces certain assumptions.” Roh roh; you know what that means.

    But first, how competent were these men? None of them proves to be a particularly charming specimen, a fact that should upset only the most starry-eyed of fanboys.[13] [19] Campbell and Heinlein come across the best – Campbell is a rather charming, downwardly mobile upper-class duffer (with an “aquiline profile, which bore a striking resemblance, he liked to say, to both Hermann Göring and the Shadow”), and Heinlein was a proto-manosphere guy who joined the military to get control of his body and mind, turned to writing only when illness forced him out of the Navy, and who only became a cantankerous jerk as disease and age caused his body to let him down at the end of his career[14] [20] – but anyone would come off well in comparison with Hubbard and – surprisingly to me – Asimov, who seem to have been competing with each other to take the “Greatest Asshole in the World” trophy from Baron Corvo.[15] [21]

    It’s clear Hubbard was a con-man from birth – like most founders of religions, I suppose – and Lee’s relentless chronicling of his nautical incompetence, from college through the Navy to his pantomime pirate antics aboard his extradition-evading “Sea Org,” makes for gruesome amusement.[16] [22]

    Although Hubbard is clearly a paranoid nutjob right from the start, here, as in life, he is the most intriguing character, and his section contains most of the remarkable revelations. For example, although there are a dozen or more witnesses to his infamous remark, “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion,”[17] [23] Scientology (as “Dianetics”) was originally an actual (though crank) technology, developed with key input from Campbell, based on the new (real) science of cybernetics.[18] [24]

    Nor was Hubbard, as critics like to say, even “originally a science fiction writer.” Hubbard was only fitfully a science fiction writer, working in many genres purely to make a buck. After his break with Campbell, failure to interest real scientists, and several abortive “institutes” and “colleges” (all looted by him before collapse), Hubbard fell back on his remaining audience – science fiction fans – and resolved to “give them what they want.” Thus was born the infamous Xenu [25] revelations, which Hubbard described, in the scriptures themselves, as “very space opera [26].” As it had from the start, once more it was fandom itself that gave decisive shape to the product.[19] [27]

    Lee also reveals a crucial link between Campbell, Hubbard, and William Burroughs. When Hubbard tried to demonstrate his “new science of the mind” on Campbell, the editor proved immune to hypnosis (which is what Scientology basically is) as well as drugs. Hubbard then resorted to “an apparatus described by the neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot,” to wit:

    Four mirrors were arranged in a truncated pyramid on a record player, with a lit candle placed nearby. When the turntable revolved at its highest speed, the result was a flicker of light that flashed at more than three hundred times per minute.

    In short, what Burroughs and Gysin would later call the “Dream Machine.”[20] [28]

    As I said, Hubbard, though a monster, had the con-man’s ability to make himself interesting. Asimov, though, is a complete disaster; a walking, talking, bottom-pinching Jewish stereotype.

    When it comes to Asimov, Lee’s agenda begins to become apparent. Born in some Russian shtetl, Little Izzie and his family slipped into America via Ellis Island in 1923, “the last year of relatively unobstructed immigration, and if they had waited any longer, they might not have been allowed to enter.” Wait, I thought America was wide open to everyone until Trump seized power in 2016? How many future science fiction geniuses will his cruel policies deny us?

    There’s no need to read Lee’s account of Little Izzie’s early life tending to the family candy store or living on the streets of the Lower East Side; nor for him to have written it, since we’ve seen these movies over and over again.[21] [29] What Lee contributes is his use of Izzie’s schmaltz to denigrate the other three:

    It seemed to be his fate to be set apart by some combination of Jewishness, youth, intelligence, and the family business. Unlike Campbell, Heinlein, or Hubbard, he didn’t have to invent forms of exile for himself.

    All four are outsiders of various sorts, but some people’s exile has more Pokémon points than others; and guess who wins? Admittedly, Hubbard was always a pathological liar. But how, exactly, did Campbell “invent” his alienating genius? Lee even tries to turn it against him:

    Genius, he decided, was the worst handicap of all – which later made him less than sympathetic to those who felt like outcasts for other reasons.

    Yes, all that matters is the feels. Of course, atheist Asimov was “Jewish” only in his Yiddish bumptiousness. “He was awkward and overeager,” and “had to be told not to urinate into the gutter,” Lee notes in passing. “Asimov was fond of enclosed, windowless spaces, like the kitchen at the rear of the store, and he fantasized about running a newsstand in the subway.” He took to reading his science fiction magazines in the quiet of a cemetery, until “one day, the caretaker had to ask him not to disturb visitors who might be there to mourn. Asimov had been whistling.”

    He began writing about robots to avoid the problems of figuring out how humans interacted, and never overcame his fear of flying. He ignored his family, preferring to lock himself away and type fanatically, producing over four hundred books, mostly on popular science.[22] [30] Although he learned not to urinate in the gutter, he never learned not to talk in theaters, or not to jump up and applaud his own name in screen credits.[23] [31]

    And, most notably, he obsessively pinched and otherwise manhandled any woman he could get his hands on, or around:

    In his younger days, Judith Merril said, Asimov had been known as “the man with a hundred hands. . . . When it went, occasionally, beyond purely social enjoyability, there seemed no way to clue him in.”

    Asimov was becoming a celebrity in the mainstream. But there was also a less attractive side to his fame. He was still pinching women’s bottoms, prompting a friend’s wife to snap, “God, Asimov, why do you always do that? It is extremely painful and besides, don’t you realize, it’s very degrading.” Yet he did nothing to change his behavior.

    Well, why should he, when the chairman of a science fiction convention suggested he give a talk on “The Positive Power of Posterior Pinching”? At another convention, an attendee recalls that “Asimov . . . instead of shaking my date’s hand, shook her left breast.”

    He later opined (in one of those four hundred books, The Sensuous Dirty Old Man, a supposed “parody”): “The question then is not whether or not a girl should be touched. The question is merely where, when, and how she should be touched.”

    Asimov thought that it was generally agreed that he was “harmless,” and that his attentions toward fans were usually welcome: “I kiss each young woman who wants an autograph and have found, to my delight, that they tend to co-operate enthusiastically in that particular activity.”

    But if his treatment of women was often inexcusable, or worse, it did little to diminish the affection in which he was held by other men, or his position as an ambassador for the genre.

    Indeed, even that disagreeable schmuck and fellow Tribesman Harlan Ellison says, “He didn’t mean anything by it – times were different – but that was Isaac.”[24] [32]

    Despite his aversion to humans, and a sex life mostly confined to what the New York City subway system calls “unwanted physical contact,” he still managed to contract AIDS from a blood transfusion; what a schlemiel.[25] [33]

    Against these schmendricks, any reader of Counter-Currents is going to find Campbell and Heinlein far more acceptable company. Yet Lee makes Asimov the focus, if not exactly the hero, of the book, giving him literally the first and last words.[26] [34]

    This is a function of Lee’s greater, not-so-hidden agenda: to not just establish that Campbell & Co. created modern science fiction, but to relate the “problems” in the genre to the flaws in these men, and thus promote a wholesale revision of it into a more politically correct form. If science fiction was engineered, we can reengineer it; to paraphrase a somewhat low-rent science fiction work: “We can rebuild it. We can make it better.” As Lee says elsewhere [35]:

    [It] was reflection of the personality of Campbell. He didn’t think that diversity was worth pursuing. He was undeniably racist, and it affected the stories that he published. Science fiction is still suffering the consequences of that. As we’ve learned, diversity doesn’t happen by itself. It requires a conscious effort to increase the voices you have in science fiction.

    Needless to say, we think Campbell did nothing wrong. Campbell’s project was to produce a new race of heroes – superman, if you will. For Lee, and too many like him, this is “problematic” because its results fail to satisfy the demand for a rigid, abstract kind of “equality” of results, which supersedes all other goals. One is reminded of the Obama-era head of NASA, who announced [36] its mission had changed from space exploration to “Muslim outreach.”

    What, then, of the supposed “evidence”? Let’s start with racism. Interestingly, both Campbell and Hubbard, in their youth, made the same joke about meeting foreigners:

    Hubbard: “They smell of all the baths they didn’t take. The trouble with China is, there are too many chinks here.”

    Campbell: “Paris itself is fine; too bad there are so many French in it.”

    That both use the same joke shows that it is, after all, a common trope; hackneyed even in the ‘30s. It’s the kind of joke one might have felt obligated to make while writing home, like the rain in Spain or it not being the heat, but the humidity; hence its reoccurrence in these two separate contexts. But perhaps no more; the racial component (is there a French race, after all?) makes it a pearl-clutching moment for Lee and his generation of snowflakes.

    I’m spending too much time on this “joke” myself because it clues us in on Lee’s SJW perspective. Like all contemporary writers who move within the atmosphere of Political Correctness like trout in a stream, Lee doesn’t handle politics or any contemporary “hot buttons” very well.[27] [37] Campbell is simply a “racist,” which I suppose is technically the case, as the term is used today, but the actual quotes seem mild and rather well-founded; of course, as with Hubbard on Chinese bathing, truth is never the issue in such cases, only the crime of what Steve Sailer has called noticing.[28] [38] For example:

    Campbell had cast a disapproving eye on the riots in Newark, saying that it was an example of blacks wanting “something for nothing.”

    “The problem with this country is that it doesn’t know how to deal with the niggers.”

    “There is such a thing as a nigger – just as there are spicks and wops and frogs and micks. A bum of Italian ancestry is a wop; a bum of Jewish ancestry is a kike – and a bum of Negro ancestry is a nigger.”

    “All human beings are not equal. When the Southern white says ‘Negroes aren’t human!’ he is speaking from experience. I’ve been there . . . they are not human-in-the-normal-sense-of-the-term. They’re low-grade morons and high-grade idiots . . . The competent Negro [note the word ‘competent’] moves North or West to an area where he can achieve something.”

     “If you deny the existence of racial differences, the problem of racial differences cannot be solved.”

    “Why should all races be alike, Isaac? Simply so you wouldn’t have to think so hard to understand a different kind of intelligent entity? Simply so that you wouldn’t have to work out more than one set of right-wrong values? Simply so that people can identify the Good Guys from the Bad Guys without the trouble of making basic evaluations?”

    “The result is that the old question ‘Would you want your daughter to marry a Negro?’ is a very good philosophical question indeed. The only answer I can give, now, is ‘I know too little about genetics to be able to give a reply based on understanding; I cannot compute the risks and benefits involved for the next few generations.’”

    Writing to Asimov in 1957, Campbell indulged in a twisted kind of psychohistory, saying that Africans were the only race never to develop “a high-order civilization,” despite the presence of nearby Egypt: “The Negro does not learn from example.”

    “The aboriginal race of Australia are . . . useless beggars without self-respect hanging on the fringes of the white man’s civilization.”

    Before long, he was arguing that blacks and whites had different bell curves for intelligence.

    The horror! For Lee, “Campbell’s opinions on race were horrifyingly unexamined.” I would say, and I think most readers here would agree, that while his language is often intemperate,[29] [39] these are all arguable points, and the evidence would tend to support Campbell. Of course, what Lee means by “unexamined” is “un-self-censored by the demands of political correctness in order to avoid being deplatformed.”

    But Lee isn’t just interested in establishing his subject as racist, as a biographical fact; it’s part of his program for rebuilding science fiction:

    “If Negro authors are extremely few – it’s solely because extremely few Negroes both wish to, and can, write in open competition.” It never occurred to him that the dearth of minority writers might be caused by the lack of characters who looked like them, or that he had any ability or obligation to address the situation as an editor.

    And Campbell, always the futurist, upsets Lee because he’s already foreseen that program, and rejected it:

    “Think about it a bit, and you’ll realize why there is so little mention of blacks in science fiction; we see no reason to go saying ‘Lookee lookee lookee! We’re using blacks in our stories! See the Black Man. See him in a space ship!’”

    Now, I’d like to pause here, since in a sense we’ve come full circle. That quote I have at the top of this review comes from the book’s opening section; here’s the full context:

    At his worst, Campbell expressed views that were unforgivably racist, and even today, the most reactionary movements in modern fandom – with their deep distrust of women and minorities – have openly stated, “We have called for a Campbellian revolution in science fiction.”

    Since, as I also said above, I’m not really a part of fandom, I wondered who these jackbooted thugs were. Did they emerge from the alternate reality of Norman Spinrad’s The Iron Dream [40] and start busting heads at conventions?

    Now, Lee’s book is one of those annoying ones where there are no numbered references or notes, but you are expected to shuffle around in the back looking for where the phrase in question reappears; sort of like hyperlinks, but without the actual hyperlink.[30] [41] Doing so reveals the quote belongs to Vox Day, from a blog post enticingly entitled “Racists vs. Child Rapists [42].”

    So, “the most reactionary movements in modern fandom” refers to the Sad Puppies. Yet other than this oblique reference, no mention of such puppies are to be found in the book; it’s as if Lee doesn’t want to engage with “the most reactionary” of his opponents, nor wants you to know anything about them.[31] [43] I would call that an “unexamined” belief, if not necessarily a horrifying one.

    It’s especially interesting since – to circle back to where we were – Lee, after adducing examples of Campbell’s “racism” and how it supposedly affected his editing, and thus the development of science fiction, goes on to examine how “these assumptions affected his treatment of Samuel R. Delany, the most important black writer the genre had ever produced.”

    Campbell rejected several stories from Delany, but he had high regard for his talents, repeatedly stating, “the guy can write and he has a lot of brilliant ideas.” [Of his rejection of Nova, Delany recalls that] “Campbell . . . didn’t feel his readership would be able to relate to a black man character. . . . Otherwise, he rather liked it.”

    Well, great sucks to Delany, but hardly annudah shoah. Now, again, I’ve never read any of Delany’s science fiction, but if you were to go back and follow that oblique link, you would find that the “child rapist” of the title is . . . Samuel R. Delany. Indeed, the post gives one a very different image of what Lee is supporting, and what he is opposing, suggesting that the issue is not reducible to “Racists vs. Nice Folks”:

    If one can reasonably declare John W. Campbell a racist on the basis of his essays and reported words, then one can absolutely, and with utter certainty, declare Samuel R. Delany to be a child-raping pedophile on the basis of his own stated beliefs and published fantasies.

    We have called for a Campbellian revolution in science fiction. . . . Campbellian SF vs Delanyite SF. Science vs Subversion. White Male Racists vs Gay Child Rapists.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that a child rapist couldn’t also be a “Grandmaster of Science Fiction,” but if the reader is expected to judge Campbell’s character, and that of the men he promoted, the reader should also be given all the facts about those whose careers he supposedly hindered.[32] [44]

    The aversion from presenting the reader with all the facts also occurs politically. Young Campbell’s initial enthusiasm for Roosevelt is “demolished” by his father “in three minutes. . . . It marked the last time he held political beliefs that were even remotely progressive.” In that case, one might be interested in his father’s arguments, but no clue is provided.[33] [45]

    And politics is the area that most upsets Lee with regards to Heinlein,[34] [46] whose anti-Communism is presented as growing out of personal pique; his assertion that his views had not changed, but that only the liberals had gotten more radical, is dismissed, and his increasing “conservatism” is attributed to his wife’s influence.[35] [47]

    Like Campbell on race, Heinlein on McCarthy is pretty reasonable:

    Heinlein had no sympathy for Joe McCarthy, whom he called “a revolting son of a bitch,” but he felt that the outrage on the left was overblown, given the treatment of dissidents in other nations.

    Lee calls this lack of concern for the supposed “victims” of McCarthy to be “a strangely unfeeling response”; again, it’s all about the feels.[36] [48]

    As for the ladies, Lee is right to highlight the contributions of, for example, Campbell’s secretary – or what used to be called “gal Friday” – Catherine Tarrant (aka Kay or “Miss Tarrant”), although he tends to intuit her “unacknowledged presence” with the lack of recorded evidence being itself a sign of institutional misogyny.[37] [49]

    On the other hand, I think Lee overstates the influence of Campbell’s wife, Doña:

    When she replaced his father as his reader of choice, she nudged him toward fiction that was more conscious of style and theme. Their collaboration, if not literal, was very meaningful, and they often worked together, smoking on two typewriters set side by side.

    “If not literal,” indeed. It’s an important point, as Lee observes that the stories Campbell began to write under the “Don A. Stuart” nom de plume (a tribute to his wife), starting with “Twilight,” effectively reinvented science fiction by “focusing on mood and atmosphere,” as well as “interrogating” (a favorite word among po-mo and PC academics) his previous “assumptions” about technology and “the heroic scientist or engineer.”

    But Lee gives little evidence of how Doña “nudged him” thence, other than “as a friend remembers, ‘When his wife Doña was new, she would sit on a hassock at his feet in adoring puppy dog style, while he discoursed on the problems of the universe.’”[38] [50]

    The more likely motivator is the new editor of Astounding, F. Orlin Tremaine, who “personally preferred works of the Stuart type” and “forced Campbell to evolve by closing off certain avenues while encouraging others.”

    Otherwise, the number of female writers Campbell published, mentored, or at least tolerated is striking, especially for the time and genre:

    Contrary to a present-day misperception, the genre — while overwhelmingly a boys’ club — didn’t post a sign on its treehouse reading “No Girls Allowed.” Nevala-Lee lists just some of the distinguished female writers that Campbell published, among them Leigh Brackett (who mentored the young Ray Bradbury and at the end of her career scripted The Empire Strikes Back) and Catherine L. Moore (creator of the sexy and formidable warrior Jirel of Joiry), as well as Katherine Maclean, Judith Merril, Anne McCaffrey[39] [51] and James Tiptree Jr., a.k.a. Alice Sheldon.[40] [52]

    Indeed, Lee strikes one as the sort of SJW who thinks that if women don’t make up (as it were) at least fifty-one percent of any organization, and get fifty-one percent of the awards, there must be a “problem” somewhere, calling for “action.”[41] [53]

    Considering the number of female writers he brought to the table, it’s hard to think of him as an ogre. He’s more like the bumbling pater familias in some ‘50s TV show. All it takes is for a woman to stand up to him, and he folds. “When he made a crack about the female mind,” Margaret “Peg” Kearney, his second wife, set him straight:

    “You don’t know anything about that, and you never will. You’ve never been a woman, you aren’t a woman, and you never will be. I’m talking about something you don’t know anything about, so just sit back and listen.” Campbell did. Peg’s abilities as an auditor, he marveled, made Hubbard look like a kindergartner.[42] [54]

    The rest are a mixed bag, and at least two make Campbell look like Alan Alda. Hubbard, of course, is a monster, habitually taking his first wife by the throat and hurling her out of cars; her eventual escape with their daughter, running away at the airport, leaving her bags behind, suggests the sort of story we hear from Scientology survivors today. (Lee notes that Doña Campbell’s skepticism about Dianetics would have made her the first “suppressive person [55].”)

    Asimov, though, loved the ladies; as we saw, he loved them a little too much. Moving out of Campbell’s orbit, Hubbard became a full-fledged Jewish guru with his own religion,[43] [56] while Asimov became the embarrassing uncle, a Weinstein avant le letter; only Heinlein, who was already a professional writer before meeting Campbell, went on to pen some of his greatest works, yet still outlived his talents.

    As for Campbell getting worse, it can’t be denied that he turned into a sour old curmudgeon, sitting around at conventions with a bottle of whisky and an ebony cigarette holder.[44] [57] But Lee tries too hard to make his case for decline. He again misses an obvious joke and takes it for evidence that “he identified with his corporate superiors”:

    When a fan told him that he had written a story but wasn’t sure whether it was right for the magazine, Campbell drew himself up: “And since when does the Condé Nast Publications, Incorporated pay you to make editorial decisions for Analog?”[45] [58]

    In fact, it was at this moment that Campbell bought Frank Herbert’s serial, “Dune World.”[46] [59] This would be “the most famous story that he would ever publish.” More importantly, it was the ultimate tale of the superman:

    The editor wasn’t particularly interested in its philosophy or the ecology of the desert world of Arrakis. Instead, he saw it as a superman story, with his comments concentrating on the teenage clairvoyant Paul Atreides, who resembled an “adolescent demigod” of whom he had mused about writing years earlier.

    He rejected the follow-up, Dune Messiah, writing to Herbert:

    In this one, it’s Paul, our central character, who is a helpless pawn manipulated against his will, by a cruel, destructive fate. . . . The reactions of science-fictioneers, however, over the last few decades have persistently and quite explicitly been that they want heroes, not antiheroes.

    Perhaps, but if they do, it was because Campbell had discovered that trait and actively promoted it. Lee retorts that Campbell had forfeited the “chance to influence the career of a writer whose novels would pave the way for science fiction’s invasion of the bestseller lists,” but that’s only because, for more than a century, both bestsellerdom and the rarefied world of “literary fiction” have been overrun with antiheroes, or what I’ve called “cockroach literature,” best summed up in the title of William Burroughs’ favorite book as a teenager: You Can’t Win [60].[47] [61]

    All Lee’s concerns about racism and sexism are just virtue-signaling and a side issue. What really upsets him about Campbell is, at heart, that Campbell (like Colin Wilson) is looking for a literature that promotes Competent Men, supermen, heroes.[48] [62]

    Campbell liked to say that the genre’s true protagonist was all of mankind, but he saw it in terms of heroic figures, starting with himself.

    And, no doubt, moving on to include other white men.

    Heinleien “was burdened by an obsolete idea of heroism.”

    Even Hubbard gets a pat on the back, since he “saw through Campbell’s pretensions about the competent man – many of his heroes were pointedly incompetent, and even when he offered up a more conventional lead, it was with a trace of contempt.”

    For Lee, even Campbell’s preference for stories where humans prove themselves more than a match for aliens are “problematic” and no doubt based on his racism; talk of the superiority of the human “race” is just a variation on white supremacy. Jeez, even the Race Traitor [63] folks talk about “loyalty to humanity.” Talk about not taking your own side [64]![49] [65]

    We can now see why Asimov emerges as the focus of the book; as a Jew, he is incapable of holding the “wrong” political or racial opinions – his concern for his old shtetl in the midst of the titanic conflict of the Second World War is treated sympathetically, not as a sign of racial preference[50] [66] – and his treatment of women is a tragic flaw, not a sign of psychopathy. He is Lee’s implicit hero, the ideal Cockroach.

    Ultimately, Lee begins to sound like some SPLC type who conflates dissent with “hate” and “clinging.” Like all “progressives,” change – as long as it continues in their preferred direction – is always good:

    Despite his belief in new modes of thought, he was hostile to change that he couldn’t control. The counterculture shared his interest in transformation and alternative viewpoints, but not in supermen or psionic machines.

    So, preferring science fiction to be represented by a Heinlein rather than a black pedophile is just being “hostile to change he couldn’t control.”

    The fact is, for all Campbell’s faults, it’s precisely his loyalty to the idea of finding, or making, the hero that makes him such an important figure in genre literature. Although Lee’s message seems to be something like, “Campbell was an embarrassing old racist, sexist uncle who only got worse as he aged, though we can forgive him for nurturing the talents of the Golden Age of science fiction,” one might be forgiven for finding a different lesson.

    Getting back to me . . . I mean, the book. I mentioned at the start my vague familiarity with the big works, and after reading this book I think that I have, despite Lee’s best efforts, acquired some understanding and respect for the intentions of the not-so-vast conspiracy that produced it. He can’t prevent us from appreciating the sense of being at the start of a group of white men embarking on a bold adventure.

    When not promoting his PC agenda, Lee is an excellent writer – he is, after all, a published professional – and he handles his multiple timelines with skill. He does not so much “juggle” them but handle them like a small solar system, focusing on Campbell’s biography and setting the others in various orbits, coming into sight or eclipsing the main story.

    I was much taken with his notion that early fandom – which “had sprung into existence almost by accident, after Hugo Gernsback printed letters from readers in Amazing, along with their addresses, allowing them to correspond in private with like-minded fans” – operated much like “modern online communities, except considerably slower,” even including “what today would be called a troll, [Donald A. Wollheim, who boasted] that he could single-handedly drive ‘any fan from the field’.”[51] [67] Not surprisingly, Campbell and Hubbard’s promotion of Dianetics through fandom could be called the first example of something “going viral.”

    Unlike Lee, let’s give Campbell, not Izzie, the last word. Confronted by a writer (Barry Malzberg) demanding that science fiction “explore the question of victimization,” Campbell delivered this epic rant:

    “I’m not interested in victims,” Campbell said calmly. “I’m interested in heroes. I have to be. Science fiction is a problem-solving medium. Man is a curious animal who wants to know how things work and, given enough time, can find out.”

    “But not everyone is a hero,” Malzberg said. “Not everyone can solve problems.”

    “Those people aren’t the stuff of science fiction. If science fiction doesn’t deal with success or the road to success, then it isn’t science fiction at all. Mainstream literature is about failure, a literature of defeat. Science fiction is challenge and discovery.” Campbell’s face lit up. “We’re going to land on the moon in a month and it was science fiction which made all of that possible. Isn’t it wonderful? Thank God I’m going to live to see it.” “The moon landing isn’t science fiction. It comes from technological advance –” Campbell broke in. “There’s going to be a moon landing because of science fiction. There’s no argument.”

    ‘Nuff said.

    Notes

    [1] [68] “Castalia House is a Finland-based publisher that has a great appreciation for the golden age of science fiction and fantasy literature. The books that we publish honor the traditions and intellectual authenticity exemplified by writers such as J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Robert E. Howard, G. K. Chesterton, and Hermann Hesse. We are consciously providing an alternative to readers who increasingly feel alienated from the nihilistic, dogmatic science fiction and fantasy being published today. We seek nothing less than a Campbellian revolution in genre literature.” Castalia House, “Mission Statement [69].”

    [2] [70] “Alec Nevala-Lee graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in Classics. His novels include The Icon Thief, City of Exiles, and Eternal Empire, and his short fiction has appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Lightspeed magazine, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction. He has written for such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Salon, the Daily Beast, and Longreads, and is featured in the A&E Biography episode on L. Ron Hubbard. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois.”

    [3] [71] “Of course Scientology attracts all the creeps of the cosmos. You see, it works.” William S. Burroughs to Allen Ginsberg, quoted herein.

    [4] [72] Campbell later said that the idea was based on his own childhood: his mother and aunt were identical twins, and he claimed they would even dress alike so as to fool him.

    [5] [73] As we’ll see, the story of a teenage boy who develops superhuman powers just about summed up Campbell’s vision.

    [6] [74] See Kevin MacDonald, “Understanding Jewish Influence III: Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement [75].” “[Leo] Strauss relished his role as a guru to worshiping disciples, once writing of ‘the love of the mature philosopher for the puppies of his race, by whom he wants to be loved in turn.” Leo Strauss, Persecution and the Art of Writing (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1952), p. 36. Ironically, Lee passes up the opportunity to even mention the Sad Puppies.

    [7] [76] “Campbell read him a line from an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown.’ He set the book aside. ‘What do you think would happen, Asimov, if men were to see the stars for the first time in a thousand years?’ Asimov – who never read the essay himself and tried unsuccessfully to find it later – replied lamely, ‘I don’t know.’ ‘I think they would go mad,’ Campbell said. ‘I want you to write a story about that.’ ‘Nightfall’ would later be voted the greatest science fiction story of all time.”

    [8] [77] “‘That’s too large a theme for a short story . . . Short stories, novelettes, serials, all fitting into a particular future history, involving the fall of the First Galactic Empire, the period of feudalism that follows, and the rise of the Second Galactic Empire.’ The editor advised him to establish another, secret foundation on the other side of the galaxy – ‘You may need the second one later on’- and ended with an order: ‘I want you to write an outline of the future history. Go home and write the outline.’”

    [9] [78] “Look, Asimov, in working this out, you have to realize that there are three rules that robots have to follow. In the first place, they can’t do any harm to human beings; in the second place, they have to obey orders without doing harm; in the third, they have to protect themselves, without doing harm or proving disobedient.”

    [10] [79] For a discussion of the book and Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 film, see Guillaume Durocher and Fróði Midjord’s on Guide to Kulchur [80].

    [11] [81] As opposed to one of those reactionary billionaires like, oh, Trump.

    [12] [82] “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” – Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love.

    [13] [83] Who was it who said that wanting to befriend a poet because you like his poetry is like wanting to befriend a cow because you like hamburger?

    [14] [84] “Campbell always remained serenely indifferent if you ended up disagreeing with him, whereas Heinlein would, under those circumstances, grow hostile.”

    [15] [85] “The man born as, no kidding, Frederick William Serafino Austin Lewis Mary Rolfe was perhaps the strangest figure to emerge from the English decadent period. He was a complete con man, a sponger on an epic scale, a total ingrate; a fellow seminarian recalled . . . that ‘he had the Protestant horror of lying, but was by common agreement the biggest liar we had ever known’; or, as he was dubbed — by modern day enthusiast [86]— ‘Baron Corvo: The Greatest Asshole Who Ever Lived.’” See my “e-Caviar for the Masses!: Olde Books for the Downwardly Mobile Elite [87].”

    [16] [88] Hubbard never met a ship he couldn’t almost immediately scuttle or run aground – he’s the real-life version of what Colin Wilson thought of Captain Queeg; see my “The Plot Against the Hero: Colin Wilson’s Absurd Magick [89].”

    [17] [90] Sources gathered by Wikipedia, here [91].

    [18] [92] “Scientology . . . is not a religion.” The Creation of Human Ability (1954), p. 251. “Dianetics” was initially intended to insinuate a connection with the new science of cybernetics, much to Norbert Wiener’s annoyance.

    [19] [93] Given Lee’s analogy between fandom and the later Internet, it’s ironic that the secret (i.e., available only for a high price) Xenu scriptures, inadvertently revealed in a court document, were leaked to the world via hundreds of anti-Scientology websites [94].

    [20] [95] Lee writes more fully on the subject elsewhere [96]: “Of course Scientology attracts all the creeps of the cosmos,” the novelist William S. Burroughs wrote to the poet Allen Ginsberg on October 30, 1959. “You see it works.” Burroughs had just been introduced to the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard [97] through the mystics John and Mary Cooke [98], whom he had met through their mutual friend Brion Gysin in Tangiers. Gysin, who is probably best remembered today for his development of the cut-up technique [99], had recently built the Dream Machine [100], a flicker gadget made of a light bulb placed on a record turntable. The device, which Gysin assembled with the help of an electronics engineer named Ian Sommerville, was designed to stimulate the brain’s alpha rhythms when viewed with the eyes closed. It was inspired by a discussion of “the flicker effect” in W. Grey Walter’s book The Living Brain, and it hints at the remarkable extent to which the counterculture was venturing into territory that science fiction had previously colonized [101]. John W. Campbell had utilized a similar setup while working with Hubbard himself to access his buried memories [102] in 1949, and after reading Walter’s book, he built what he described as a “panic generator” with a fluorescent bulb in his basement. And the fact that Hubbard’s work was circulating among the Beats at the same time reflects how both communities – which seemed so different on the surface – were looking for new approaches to the mind. (Science fiction, like Scientology or beatnik culture, has a way of attracting “all the creeps of cosmos,” and for similar reasons.). For more on Burroughs and Gysin’s interest in magickal methods and crank tech, see my reviews “Curses, Cut-Ups, & Contraptions: The ‘Disastrous Success’ of William Burroughs’ Magick,” reprinted in Magick for Housewives: Essays on Alt-Gurus [103] (Melbourne, Victoria: Manticore, 2018), and “Looking for the Alt-Master [104].”

    [21] [105] Lee probably has something like Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America in mind, but Izzie and his dad at the candy store remind me of “Slip” Mahoney and Louie Dumbrowski (real-life father and son) in any Bowery Boys movie.

    [22] [106] Asimov believed his son “David’s great hobby is to tape the television shows he likes and to build up an enormous library of such things.” In fact, after Asimov’s death, David was arrested for possessing the “biggest child pornography collection in Sonoma County history, with thousands of videos found in his home.” Though ignored by Asimov, he managed to combine his father’s chief traits: obsessive collecting and aberrant sex.

    [23] [107] Lee cites two instances, some twenty years apart; in the latter, at a showing of the Star Trek pilot, he was rebuked by Gene Roddenberry: “’Hey, fellow, stop talking. That’s my picture they’re starting to show.’ The speaker fell silent, and it was only then that Roddenberry was informed that he had scolded Isaac Asimov. He tried to apologize, but Asimov quickly admitted that he had been the one in the wrong.”

    [24] [108] Campbell regarded Ellison as a “destructive, rather than constructive,” genius: “He needs a muzzle more than a platform. . . . He’s an insulting little squirt with a nasty tongue. He’s one of the type that earned the appellation ‘kike’; as Einstein, Disraeli, and thousands of others have demonstrated, it ain’t racial – it’s personal.”

    [25] [109] Prior to the operation in question, Izzie demanded that the surgeon “explain to everybody involved in the operation that I have an unusual brain that must be protected.” One can’t help but be reminded of another Jewish writer, Barton Fink [110], who acts as if “the whole world revolves around whatever rattles inside that little kike head of [his].”

    [26] [111] The prologue, “Asimov’s Sword,” describes Asimov appropriating a passage from Homer — in which Achilles, hidden by his mother among women, is discovered by his preference for a sword as a toy – to provide an “analog,” as Campbell would say, for Campbell’s project. But doesn’t this reify gender stereotypes? And isn’t this cultural appropriation? Or is that okay, when the appropriators have names like Asimov or Zuckerberg [112]?

    [27] [113] “One quickly realizes that reading this book is just like talking to a liberal: certain things are unacceptable, no evidence is needed to justify the claim of unacceptability, and that’s that.” Donald Thoresen, reviewing [114] Jason Stanley’s How Fascism Works.

    [28] [115] Lee has an interesting way of making the reliance on the evidence of the senses, seemingly a good thing, especially in a budding scientist, to seem rather sinister – as young Campbell studies at Duke University, “He also kept an eye on race relations, which were more visible here than they had been in New Jersey or Massachusetts, and his opinions on the subject began to grow silently inside of him.” Usually this sort of language is researched for describing the boyhood of Adolf Hitler. He traces Campbell’s preference for stories where humans prove superior to aliens to a “casual assumption” of European superiority.

    [29] [116] After rejecting Barry Malzberg notion that science fiction should explore “victimization,” giving him the lecture on heroism we’ll get to later, Campbell later says, “Don’t worry about it, son, I just like to shake ‘em up.”

    [30] [117] The Kindle edition has a hyperlink from the phrase in the notes section back to the text, so it’s only half as dumb.

    [31] [118] But you, the Counter-Currents reader, are, as per usual, well informed: see the posts gathered here [119]. Greg Johnson says, in his review of Vox Day’s [120]SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police (indeed!): “Chapter 5, ‘Release the Hounds,’ deals with the campaigns of Day and fellow conservative sci-fi writer Larry Correia against the SJW lock on science fiction and fantasy journalism and awards. The ‘hounds’ in the title refers to the Correia’s Sad Puppy campaign to nominate non-PC writers for the Hugo Awards and Day’s Rabid Puppies campaign, based on the GamerGate model. Due to the hounding of the Puppies, the Hugo Awards was forced to adopt new nomination rules that make them less under the control of SJW cabals. But the dogs are not done yet. They are pushing for the firing of leading SJW editors. They are also picking off the weakest members of the SJW herd, who fall silent due to demoralization and depression. Better them than us.”

    [32] [121] I said just now I have never read any of Delany’s science fiction; I did, however, read – a bit of – his Times Square Red/Times Square Blue (New York: New York University Press, 1999), which an Amazon reviewer describes, accurately, thus: “The author looks back nostalgically at what many would call the seedy demi-monde of Times Square as it existed in the 1960’s, 1970’s and a bit later. Turns out he admits his tastes in public sex and homeless men as partners, along with the drug addled and others who inhabit this world. He makes spurious claims that such places are the only opportunities for genuine ‘contact’ and class mixing in society. He seems to have spent a great deal of time in these locales, and I perceive perhaps his need to justify how he has spent his life. I found this raunchy and degenerate.

    In the second part of the book, he spins out dense academic prose with a strongly Marxist bent to denounce the re-developers of Times Square who have displaced him and his ‘contacts’. He mentioned in Part One that many of them died of drug problems, AIDS, or other diseases. Yet, he argues for such cesspools to persist, subsidized by the land and building owners.” At the same time, I attended a free public reading from the book, and found the author to be distinctly creepy, despite the adulation surrounding him. I would not be surprised if Campbell, even so early on, had the same vibe from the author, despite his “brilliant ideas.”

    [33] [122] Interestingly, Lovecraft’s views moved in the opposite direction, from a naïve belief in the pro-business views of the upper class to an enthusiastic New Dealer, precisely because he realized that Roosevelt was a fascist. Campbell “despised” Lovecraft’s writing, but “At the Mountains of Madness” – which Tremaine had published in Astounding in 1936 – must have had an influence on “Who Goes There?” (1938). In one of his many surprising revelations, Hubbard, shortly after embarking on his literary career, met Lovecraft, who called him “a remarkable young man.”

    [34] [123] Campbell will eventually conclude that “[Heinlein is] much more concerned with selling his philosophy of sexual promiscuity [and nudism!] than in writing science fiction tales.”

    [35] [124] So much for the “science fiction writers should listen to women” theme; I guess it depends on what they say, which kinda makes the whole thing a big runaround; why not just judge everyone’s opinions as such?

    [36] [125] Again, context matters. “But in fact it’s unfair to accuse Senator Joseph McCarthy [126] of conducting an irrational witch-hunt against communists. Unlike witches, wreckers and racists in other eras and places, communists were a real force and a genuine danger [127] in 1950s America. Spies like Julius and Ethel Rosenberg [128] passed atomic secrets to the Soviet Union and were caught and executed. But many more spies went undetected and unpunished.” Tobia Langdon, “Whites as Witches: ‘We Must be Eternally Vigilant Against Racism [129]’.”

    [37] [130] She does get a wonderful line: “Personally, I don’t give a fuck what you write, but we have teenagers who read the magazine.”

    [38] [131] For her part, Tarrant remembers “how the young Asimov ‘sat in adoring admiration of Campbell, drinking in every word he said.’”

    [39] [132] Lee tries to blow smoke around McCaffrey’s evidence by suggesting that Campbell promoted her to subvert more non-traditional female writing.

    [40] [133] Michael Dirda, “Let Us Praise the Giants of Science Fiction [134],” located behind the paywall of Bezos’ Blog.

    [41] [135] Remember, “As we’ve learned, diversity doesn’t happen by itself. It requires a conscious effort to increase the voices you have in science fiction.” Lee, op. cit. “Academics are supposed to believe all groups have equal abilities. Thus, lack of ‘racial parity’ becomes ipso facto evidence of discrimination. After all, what else could account for the unequal states of affairs that we find, well, everywhere? The obvious problem with this perspective is that there’s no empirical justification for the belief that all groups have equal abilities. What’s really at work here is a certain moral delusion. For a number of reasons – pity, envy, irrational guilt about the past – many people want groups to have equal outcomes. And so, when they don’t find them, they’re motivated to perceive discrimination in situations where it’s not present.” Christopher DeGroot, “The Genteel Touchiness of Academics,” here [136].

    [42] [137] Is this a sister speaking Truth to Power, or an implicitly trans-phobic assertion of male/female essentialism? It’s so hard to keep up!

    [43] [138] Reviewing Dianetics, Martin Gardner already detects the mode: “Like the later works of Wilhelm Reich, his book is simply a Revelation from the Master, to be tested and confirmed by lesser men.” Martin Gardner, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (New York: Dover Publications, 1957; 1st ed. 1952); Chapter 22, “Dianetics.”

    [44] [139] One of his many crank ideas was that cigarettes cured cancer. This might be connected to his admiration for Atlas Shrugged, which causes Lee to wince.

    [45] [140] “Campbell retained what Heinlein called his ‘slightly open-mouthed adoration’ of businessmen – he loved Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, although he suspected that its author was ‘somewhat of a lesbian’.”

    [46] [141] For no particular reason, other than denigrating Campbell, Lee says that he “stumbled across” the serial “almost by accident.” It’s an odd way to describe an editor opening an envelope with an unsolicited submission.

    [47] [142] See, most recently, my “The Plot Against the Hero: Colin Wilson’s Absurd Magick [89].”

    [48] [143] There is, perhaps, a more than verbal resemblance between Campbell’s project and Baron Evola’s, as described by this contemporary scholar: “He was not interested in being a pure scholar, providing some kind of new information. Evola wanted to change the world. Evola’s aim in writing was always a ‘pedagogic’ or rather ‘anagogic’ (leading upwards) one. What he wanted was to ‘educate’ the readers in order to lead them towards transcendence or to ‘become gods’ in his specific sense. This holds true not only for his religious or esoteric research but for all his work, be it in philosophy, art, or even politics and racial theories. “ (Hans Thomas Hakl, “Deification as a Core Theme in Julius Evola’s Esoteric Works [144],” Correspondences 6, no. 2 (2018) 1–27). I’ve explored the similarity between the emotional tone of Evola’s doctrine of cosmic cycles and the “cosmic horror” of Lovecraft’s work – especially the novellas which, as noted above, appeared in the pre-Campbell Astounding and which may have influenced Campbell’s own novella, “Who Goes There?” – in the title essay of my collection The Eldritch Evola . . . & Others: Traditionalist Meditations on Literature, Art, & Culture [145]; ed. Greg Johnson (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2014).

    [49] [146] A commenter at Unz opines “God forbid we ever do get invaded by aliens: our ‘intelligentsia’ will be too busy debating whether the little green men [are] racist/sexist/anti-Jewish/homophobic/transphobic/otherwise ‘problematic’ to notice the giant death ray being pointed at the Capitol.” Anonymous396 on “Alice Walker: The Color Reptile,” here [147]. Oddly enough, Lee’s implicitly pro-alien stance echoes the perfidious, pro-alien scientists in the original The Thing [From Another World], based on Campbell’s initial classic novella, “Who Goes There?” The more usual “plucky humans” trope received canonical form in It Conquered the World (Roger Corman, 1956), where Dr. Paul Nelson (Peter Graves) intones the film’s moral [148]: “’He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature . . . and because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned too late for himself that men have to find their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can’t be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. When men seek such perfection, they find only death . . . fire . . . loss . . . disillusionment . . . the end of everything that’s gone forward. Men have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can’t be given, it has to be achieved! There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from man himself.’ This is the precursor to what has come to be known as ‘The Patrick Stewart Speech [149],’ in which he may concede that humans are weak (at least for the moment), but there is much that is noble about humanity as well. . . . Note this is not just defending humans out of a general respect for life, or even for sentient life [150]: the Patrick Stewart Speech notes specific qualities of humanity itself which make it worth saving, above and beyond simply being a sentient lifeform. In short, Humans Are Special [151] and Rousseau Was Right [152]. One variant of this speech will praise our flaws [153] instead, pointing out how in overcoming/fighting them we grow better and create beautiful things. When done well, can give the viewer a sense of pride [154]. When done poorly, comes off as overly preachy [155], pretentious or even ridiculous [156].”

    [50] [157] Much as American Jews promote open borders for the US and walls for Israel.

    [51] [158] Lee doesn’t find it a bit odd or noteworthy that the first New York science fiction clubs were essentially associations of Jewish Communists; the fact that they immediately started acting as such, splintering, anathematizing, unpersoning, leafleting, and disrupting rival meetings, becoming personality cults in the process, is detailed as if par for the course.

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Sargon of Akkad2
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  • Busby Berkeley at Berchtesgaden
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll "Her directing career ended with the Third Reich," Mark Steyn writes in an 80th anniversary essay on Leni Riefenstahl's infamous agitpropumentary, Triumph of the Will. As Mark notes, had Riefenstahl "been worse at making the Nazis look good, her insistence that she was no more than a hired hand might have been accepted," which would have resulted perhaps in a very different postwar life. (Riefenstahl lived to be 101, dying in 2003):Did Leni get Adolf to do re-takes? Or maybe she made the entire population of Nuremberg re-take the scene; maybe they staged the procession twice. If Hitler was unusually agreeable about taking direction, it was because this was never a filmed record of an event so much as an event created for the film. Whatever Triumph Of The Will is, it's not a documentary. Its language is that of feature films - not Warner Brothers gangster movies or John Ford westerns, but rather the supersized genres, the epics and musicals where huge columns of the great unwieldy messy mass of humanity get tidied and organized — and, if that isn't the essence of totalitarianism, what is? Riefenstahl has the same superb command of the crowd as Busby Berkeley, the same flair for human geometry (though Berkeley would have drawn the line at giving the gentlemen of the chorus as swishy a parade step as Hitler's personal SS bodyguard do).The sets (that's what they are) that were built for Hitler's speeches blend Cecil B. de Mille with expressionist sci-fi: no party convention in Britain, Canada or even Obama's America ever offered its leader a stage like this. It exists in the same relationship to reality as, say, Berkeley's "Lullaby Of Broadway" sequence in Gold Diggers Of 1935: in that scene, the conceit is that the number's taking place in a nightclub, but, as the song continues and the dancers multiply and the perspective extends ever further into the distance, you realise that no nightclub anywhere on earth has a stage that vast. Riefenstahl stretches reality in the same way, beginning in the streets of old Nuremberg with the band serenading Hitler below the balcony of his ivy-clad hotel, and steadily abandoning human scale until the Führer is standing alone atop a giant stone block as thousands of standard-bearing party members march in formation below: extras on a set. In the 21st century, you can see Riefenstahl's influence in the work of George Lucas (Star Wars) and Paul Verhoeven (Starship Troopers), both filmmakers for whom the principal thrill of directing seems to be the opportunity it affords to subordinate the individual.George Lucas's Star Wars begins with its iconic logo, about which its designer later explained, "Suzy Rice, who had just been hired as an art director, remembers the job well. She recalls that the design directive given by Lucas was that the logo should look 'very fascist.'"The film ends with the Rebels, the film's "good guys," about whom Lucas told interviewers he had modeled after Communist North Vietnam, tromping through a giant hall to pick up their awards. As numerous critics have noted over the years, it’s a scene whose composition was straight out of Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. Given the similarities that exist back in the real world between national socialism and international socialism, perhaps his notion that his film’s beginning and end wound up looking “very fascist” is more appropriate than even Lucas knew at the time.As for Paul Verhoeven’s silly but entertaining 1997 version of Starship Troopers, his film merged the propaganda techniques, the massed geometries of soldiers at attention, and the uniforms of all of the major World War II participants, down to Neil Patrick Harris’s infamous leather greatcoat worn in the film’s last scene. (“Doogie Himmler!”, as one wag exclaimed at the time in an early review.) Verhoeven’s Troopers crudely anticipates the argument made in Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism regarding the intertwined nature of the socialist ideologies the players in World War II all shared. Not surprisingly, that wasn’t an argument leftwing film critics wanted to hear while Bill Clinton was in office, which likely accounted for its many bad initial reviews. But oh, the hosannas Starship Troopers would have garnered from “liberal” critics had it been released in 2004… var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Triumph of a New Hope (Throne Room and End)', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/9/14/busby-berkeley-at-berchtesgaden/ ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • 'The Absence of 9-11 from Science Fiction'
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll Author Andrew Fox asks, "Have the events of 9-11-2001 and the sociopolitical changes they spawned been mostly absent from science fiction? Or have they been present, even prevalent, but disguised?"Five stories and seven novels, of which only three stories and one novel deal directly with the events of 9-11-2001. This seems like a vanishingly small number, particularly given the enormous volume of fiction published from 2002 on.  Locus Magazine calculates in their February, 2011 issue that, in the nine years from 2002 to 2010, 9,420 new (non-reprint) speculative fiction novels (encompassing science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal romance but excluding media-related works of fiction) were published in the United States; of these, 2,242 were science fiction novels. Far fewer speculative fiction novels were published during the decades following the invention of atomic weapons, the beginning of the Cold War, the assassination of President Kennedy, the social changes of the late 1960s, or America’s military involvement in Vietnam.By way of comparison, a relative plethora of mainstream or literary novels have been published in the past decade which engage directly with 9-11. The first of these, Pattern Recognition (2003), was written by an author who gained notoriety as a science fiction writer, William Gibson, but Pattern Recognition is pointedly not science fiction, reflecting Gibson’s view that “reality has replaced science fiction.” Critic D. G. Myers counts more than thirty mainstream novels as having focused on the events of 9-11, notable titles including Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), Don DeLillo’s Falling Man (2007), and Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children (2006).Why the discrepancy? Have the themes of 9-11 and its aftermath simply resonated more strongly with mainstream and literary novelists than they have with science fiction and fantasy novelists? Yet considering all the author’s tools that sit within the toolboxes of speculative fiction writers — “what if?” “if this goes on…” and alternate history and alternative realities — it would seem the science fiction and fantasy writers would likely have more to say regarding the attacks of 9-11-2001 and the events of the Global War on Terror than mainstream fiction writers would. Most of the mainstream novels described in D. G. Myers’ list focus on psychological accounts of the aftermath of the attacks or the moral ambiguities raised by the War on Terror. Science fiction authors can do this as well, of course, but they can potentially do so much more: focus on the Clash of Civilizations between reactionary Islamicism and Western modernity, perhaps on ways this clash can be elided or lessened; perform thought experiments regarding potential future evolutions of the Islamic world; and extrapolate potential future tools of combat and civil defense particularly appropriate to asymmetrical warfare.Although a remarkable 2007 article (particularly given the venue in which it appears) on the "Truther" film Loose Change, notes its origins were in just that sort of classic sci-fi "what if" form. (Plenty of foul language here, but stick with it -- and then click over to read the whole thing):He sat down and started writing a FICTIONAL SCREENPLAY about he and his buddies finding out 9/11 was a government conspiracy. Fictional. Sort of an The X-Files episode. Avery mentions this in every interview he does.Since he had no money to film his own movie, he started cutting together video and photos off the internet, creatively editing them to make them scary and ominous, cutting the visuals to fit the story, making a fake documentary. Like Spinal Tap, only about mass murder.* * * * *Now obviously, hundreds of people were in the Pentagon that day, dozens of witnesses saw a plane crash, hundreds of people cleaned up airplane parts and charred bodies, air traffic controllers saw the plane fly in on radar, pairs of light poles more than 20 feet apart were knocked over when the massive wings of the airliner mowed them down like grass. But that's okay. He's just making a fictional movie, it's all in fun.So he does the whole video like that. He cuts sound bites in half, saving the part where a flight instructor says something like, "I met the hijacker and he was a bad pilot," and deleting the part where the same guy says, "but you don't exactly have to be fucking Chuck Yeager to crash a plane into a building." Without that second part, it sounds like the guy is saying the hijacker couldn't have done the flying. He has literally edited the words to make the guy say the opposite of what he said.But again, it's just fiction, a "what if" movie, a "War of the Worlds" broadcast. It was supposed to be a student film, his resume for the world, a viral video that would get his name out there. I have to admit, it was a great idea.But then...Conspiracy buff Phillip Jayhan ambles into Dylan's life, waving around a sweaty wad of money. Jayhan, by the way, says the world is run by a massive satanic cult that enslaves prominent politicians by delivering kidnapped boys for them to molest and then blackmailing them about it later.Okay, that's probably true. But the point is Jayhan offered to pay for Avery to get his little film off the ground. Only, the thing is, Jayhan didn't think it was fiction. Jayhan, who believed in every available conspiracy prior to 9/11, believes that the WTC planes had missiles on them that were fired at the towers and that's why they fell down. Oh, and also there were bombs in the towers. Or something.Avery, realizing now that the financial future of his film and his dreams of fame and fortune lie entirely in selling Loose Change as a factual documentary, miraculously discovers that, in fact, the plot behind 9/11 is real.After all, which is going to have a bigger impact on you:A friend who comes to work and says, "dude, I totally sat down and wrote a ghost story last night, wanna read it?"OrThe same friend running up in a panic and saying, "DUDE, A FUCKIN' GHOST SHOWED UP IN MY HOUSE LAST NIGHT!!!"You're going to get the same story either way. But it's a much bigger impact if he presents it as fact. Now, if his goal is just to be creative, he'll have no problem admitting it's fiction and letting people criticize it as such, even if it means the work goes unnoticed. But if he's Dylan Avery, and his goal is to become famous, he'll do the one that he knows will get him noticed. From that point on, Loose Change was a "documentary."And one with a giant ready-made audience, ready to believe. (Kind of like the guys in Ghostbusters, but without Bill Murray's ironic self-awareness.) Particularly since it allowed them to transfer their anger from radical chic terrorists more or less grandfathered in by multiculturalism, over to a president with whom they were furious over since November of 2000. "For activist and professional Democrats, the most ignominious day in their collective political lives" wasn't 9/11, but had only just recently occurred in the previous year, Daniel Henninger recently noted at the Wall Street Journal: the Florida presidential recount. "The 2000 election ended only when the Supreme Court resolved it in favor of George Bush. Republican and independent voters moved on, but many Democrats never did; they were now being governed by an illegitimate president."And they carried an anger towards him stewing ever more venomous while polite society required it to be bottled up in the weeks and months after 9/11. But the pressure cooker was ready to burst, to borrow Charles Krauthammer's 2004 metaphor, and Loose Change, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (3.5 stars from Gore/Kerry/Obama-supporting Roger Ebert and conspicuous approval from Senate Democrats, and two former presidents) were waiting to fill the vacuum, along with plenty of assassination porn, to boot.Of course, note the irony of something like Loose Change readily available on the Web, as Mark Steyn wrote in 2006:When I was on the Rush Limbaugh show a couple of months back, a listener called up to insist that 9/11 was an inside job. I asked him whether that meant Bali and Madrid and London and Istanbul were also inside jobs. Because that’s one expensive operation to hide even in the great sucking maw of the federal budget. But the Toronto blogger Kathy Shaidle made a much sharper point:“I wonder if the nuts even believe what they are saying. Because if something like 9/11 happened in Canada, and I believed with all my heart that, say, Stephen Harper was involved, I don’t think I could still live here. I’m not sure I could stop myself from running screaming to another country. How can you believe that your President killed 2,000 people, and in between bitching about this, just carry on buying your vente latte and so forth?”Over to you, Col. de Grand Pre, and Charlie Sheen, and Alan Colmes.So we've had at least one Twilight Zone-style 9/11 sci-fi freakout run amok. (Oh how Paul Verhoeven must hate himself for releasing Starship Troopers while Bill Clinton was still in office. Another decade, and Ebert would have absolutely adored it.)Update: "Classy… Truthers Chant '9-11 Was an Inside Job' Outside Ground Zero Memorial," Jim Hoft notes with photos, including a shot of someone holding a "Google: Jews control the USA!" in front of Trinity Cathedral. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2011/9/11/the-absence-of-9-11-from-science-fiction/ ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • Truth in Advertising: Cowboys & Aliens Does in Fact Offer Cowboys and Aliens
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    PJ Media var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Cowboys & Aliens Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Cowboys & Aliens may not win any Oscars, but it should win a Truth in Advertising award. Picture the cast of Unforgiven suddenly discovering they’re in Independence Day and you’ll get the picture.This movie, directed by Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau, seems to have been designed to while away a couple of hours for airplane viewers. It meets generally agreed-upon blockbuster standards without messing with ideas (as Iron Man did) or providing a comment on reality (ditto) but also without going as bonkers as, say, Green Lantern.A flinty and ruthless Daniel Craig plays a loner who, as the camera lovingly sweeps over the sandy scrub of the Southwest, wakes up from an unspecified ordeal silently wondering why he has a mysterious slash in his midsection and a high-tech-looking gizmo on his wrist. After he fails to dislodge the latter with a rock he is forced to dispatch a sinister, roaming group of cutthroats that threatens to haul him in for a bounty.The loner doesn’t remember who he is (or even whether he’s a good guy or a villain -- a nice touch). As he recovers from his wounds in a nearby town where locals include an affable saloon-keeper (Sam Rockwell) and a no-nonsense sheriff (Keith Carradine), he runs afoul of the local punk (Paul Dano), whose habit is to randomly fire his pistol in all directions in the middle of town. The loner doesn’t like this but nobody messes with the kid whose father is the feared cattle baron and controls everything in these parts.The setup is perfectly enjoyable, exactly the kind of thing Clint Eastwood did so effortlessly in his 70s Westerns, but the hint that things are slightly askew makes you expect a boldly imagined second act. One of many early signs that we might be in for a terrifically suspenseful popcorn picture is the first appearance of the cattle baron, Dolarhyde: He’s Harrison Ford. Even better, he’s the surliest cuss west of the Mississippi. And like so many Eastwood figures, he’s got a Civil War background that has scarred him forever. Best of all: He’s the villain, a leathery hombre as cruel as cactus. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/truth-in-advertising-cowboys-aliens-does-in-fact-offer-cowboys-and-aliens/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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    (Review Source)

Millennial Woes1
Scandza Forum



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

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  • My Entire DVD Collection [multi-parter] | Starship Troopers | 9:17 | 👎🏻
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Unz Review Staff1
Unz Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Starship Troopers, by Trevor Lynch
    Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (1959) marked his transition from writing juvenile pulp science fiction to serious novels of ideas, in this case setting forth a highly reactionary and militarist political philosophy. Paul Verhoven’s 1997 film of Starship Troopers takes quite a few liberties with Heinlein’s plot but manages to capture its spirit and communicate...
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    (Review Source)

Morgoth1
Morgoth's Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

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  • Starship Troopers: Neocons in Outer Space
    Nationalism, Hollywood, Movies, Multiculturalism, Morgoth, Propaganda, Politics, Multiculturalism, Cultural Marxism, Political Correctness
    ...
    (Review Source)

Brett Stevens1
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Doom (2005)
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    The rise of a new medium catches everyone by surprise, especially those who are trying to make it succeed. In the case of video gaming, the medium existed for many years before it came to maturity with the full-featured video games of the late 1990s, spurred on by the massive success of first-person shooter Doom, itself a followup on the renovation of the classic 1980s video game Wolfenstein with Wolfenstein 3D. Then, for reasons unknown, someone made a movie based in the world of Doom, and… it was good.

    At the point in time when Doom III, the most proximate inspiration for this movie, emerged, video games had transitioned into something like a film which required user engagement. With full plot lines, accessories for the characters (we might blame 1980s Star Wars figures for this), ability to use in-game utilities to uncover plot, and complex goals to hide the banality of constant machine gun warfare, the new games hybridized all of the successful tropes of video games of the previous decade with the gestures of action movies that succeeded. This gave them new complexity and made the transition to movie more challenging if the film hoped to differentiate itself from the game. Early efforts were often horrifyingly bad. Doom corrects this with a fast-paced, tight-edited movie that keeps the plot of the game at its center, and pays extensive tribute to the game without becoming a string of in-jokes. This film could be watched without any knowledge of the game and it would be as compelling, as it is in fact brainier and more compelling than the average action film.

    Doom begins in California, where a team of Marines are heading out to Las Vegas, NV, where an interstellar portal that opens on Mars has been discovered. Borrowing this idea from Edgar Rice Burroughs, the film mixes in bits of Stargate, Aliens and Starship Troopers to show us a group of hard-fighting colonial marines sent on a mission with few specifics. They discover an outbreak of a zombie-like disease which turns out to be a genetic mutation. The wrinkle is that this mutation does not so much change people as reveal what they actually are, and this creates a layer of character depth to the movie which proves instrumental to its plot and steers around the worst of the endless waves of enemies effect that early first-person shooters demonstrated. That being said, this film is designed as an action movie for young men, and so it adheres to the requirements of pleasing that audience. The hammy Dwayne Johnson delivers his usual stern facial muscles and straining deltoids, but his performance is not as central to the movie as the posters might have you believe. Ultra-gruff cinematic violence expert Karl Urban plays opposite to alternatively plain and striking Rosamund Pike, with whom the filmmakers pander to anticipated audience taste by ensuring that her relatively reserved clothing reveals the outline of breasts and nipples in every scene. That is the pulp fiction nature of both video games and action movies, however, and Doom pulls it off by being good-natured but not obsessive. The characters are part of the scenery, albeit scenery that evolves with the plot. As the film progresses, the character drama takes over, and then in one of the most enjoyable breaks in film history, the movie goes into first-person shooter mode for a finale that pays full loving tribute to the original video game.

    Perhaps Doom will never be mentioned in East End coffee klatches or fashion magazines, and it may never attract more than a small die-hard cult audience, but it can be appreciated for its renovation of an otherwise uptight sub-genre of film and its ability to make what might otherwise easily deviate into idiot territory into a thoughtful and suspenseful film. The violence of raw first-person shooters here distills, as in Aliens but with less emphasis on pure suspense, to a game of anticipation in which characters must react suddenly to unexpected threats while in the midst of confusion and incredulity as they discover what is going on. The result is part mystery, mostly action film, and part the oldest type of sci-fi which is the exploration of the human being as revealed by his technology, in this case genetic engineering and 21st century violence.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtXFlzZa-QA

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Soiled Sinema4
Soiled Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

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  • Starship Troopers 3: Marauder
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    How exactly does one recover a film from the bowels of hell in the form of a second sequel to the classic cult film Starship Troopers . The ...
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    (Review Source)
  • Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantánamo Bay
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Disquieting racism is in every film you see now-a-days. Whether they are presenting the ignorance in a harmful light of not is the true argu...
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    (Review Source)
  • Tammy and the T-Rex
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Once in a blue moon, modern cinema will purge all normalities and excrete on the idea of a mercy rule to what films should be green lit. Ou...
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    (Review Source)
  • Here Is Always Somewhere Else
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In 1975, the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader set to sea in the smallest sailboat (13 ft pocket cruiser) that ever attempted to cross the Atlantic...
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    (Review Source)

Amerika.org Staff1
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)


Steve Sailer1
Taki Mag



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Mel Gibson: Back Into the Fray
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)


    Rather like Donald Trump’s campaign for president in 2016, Mel Gibson’s 2004...

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    (Review Source)

Lilou & John1
Cafe Guillotine



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • NOT DEAD YET
    (”Starship Troopers” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lilou & John list five movies everyone must see | Lilou comes up with some good suggestions | John is a relic from the past
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    (Review Source)

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